2006/07/16

FISA Court to Trump the Supreme Court

This evening I was going to blog on two lesser known aspects of the Bu$hCo's deal with Sen. Arlen Specter regarding illegal administration surveillance programs, but the Xsociate has done such a good job that you should read his post. Have a gander, and then I'll sum up.

First, giving the FISA court the ability to review the constitutionality of any program places the Supreme Court in an inferior position. Were the FISA court to rule the program constitutional, the decision could not be appealed. Only the Bu$hCo gets to appeal...if it loses.

Second, a different provision of the deal would place all civil actions against the administration and alleged participants under the jurisdiction of the FISA Court. For those of you not familiar with FISA court procedures. Only the DoJ gets to make arguments--extra governmental plaintiffs or defendants must submit written arguments. In other words, cases concerning executive abuse of power could be transferred to a secret court merely on the AG's say so, and plaintiffs would be prevented from presenting evidence, conducting discovery, or even challenging their standing to pursue a case.

This nonsense should be called out for what it is, a naked attempt by the Bu$hCo to subvert the authority and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with congressional assistance.

5 Comments:

Thanks for the link, Oh amphibious one.
I think this is what the administration would like, that is, to diminish the power of the Supreme Court while it increases its own power nearly to "unlimited". Even now that the Court is almost packed, to insure many future decisions favorable to politicians of the Bush mindset, the Court won't rule for them ALL the time... so there will need to be some kinds of controls in place. This kind of looks like it follows the same principle that is applied when Bush uses his signing statements... it is a way to try and circumvent normal procedure though a naked power grab that just isn't being called out in public for what it really is. The POTUS gets his way, no matter what. He is the decider, after all.

I think the administration would also then like to diminish the powers of Congress, to the point that the function and influence of our elected representatives is greatly diminished, to where Congress basically becomes irrelevant.

I hope the world gets through the next 900-or-so days as something we all still recognize. I fine myself getting progressively queasier.
I agree snave. It's like wtf is going on around here?
Snave, there was an excellent article in the July 3rd New Yorker that made the case for a 20 year effort by the GOP (specifically Cheney and Addington) to consolodate power in the executive. (Pretty scary stuff.) But w.r.t. Congress: I don't think Bush has to do a thing. Congress is pretty effectively doing that job for Bu$hCo by themselves.
I would like to be the first one to welcome you to Fascism. Take off your shoes, you have slippers available, please.

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