Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, August 10, 2007

Guantanamo lawyers challenge constitutionality of FISA bill

Because you see... the fourth amendment really is worth fighting for.

From Think Progress:

Yesterday, lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees asked a federal judge in San Francisco to invalidate the recently-passed FISA law that lets the Bush administration conduct warrantless surveillance on suspected terrorists without first getting court-approved warrants.

"We are asking your honor, as swiftly as possible, to declare this statute unconstitutional,” said Michael Avery, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights. … “Neither Congress nor the president has the power to repeal the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirements,"Avery said.

In CCR v. Bush, the lawyers argue that the government’s surveillance program is jeopardizing their ability to represent their clients, all detainees at Guantanamo. The Center for Constitutional Rights reports that they have made thousands of telephone calls and sent many e-mails to people outside the United States in the course of their clients' representation - and that all are now subject to warrantless spying:

The Center writes, “Given that the government has accused many of CCR’s overseas clients of being associated with Al Qaeda or of being of interest to the 9/11 investigation, there is little question that these attorneys fall within the likely range of victims of the NSA Surveillance Program.” CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren said:

It is virtually certain that the NSA spied on our confidential communications with our clients as well as conversations with other American attorneys outside of the U.S. The president violated his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws of this nation and instead secretly broke the law for years to spy on Americans. He has taken an axe to the Constitution.

Will the Constitution and the good lawyers win out against the awe-wielding president and his Congressional enablers? Is the presiding judge still a 'real judge,' or another RNC partisan operative? Film at 11! New information coming into the Situation Room all the time! (Well, I'm guessing this won't be one of the 'breaking items' they will be covering... it's too close to real news.)

Whither the rule of law in the good Ol' USA?

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