Al-Haramain Will Not Appeal 9th Circuit Decision Immunizing Illegal Wiretapping

The single best chance to hold the government accountable for its illegal wiretapping, the al-Haramain suit, is over.

Our goal was for the judiciary to rule that the president may not disregard an act of Congress in the name of national security.

[snip]

Ironically, although we had sought a judicial pronouncement that the president may not violate FISA, the 9th Circuit instead proclaimed that he can get away with it.

[snip]

We have decided not to challenge the 9th Circuit’s ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court. We feel that, given the Supreme Court’s current ideological tilt, it is better to leave other courts free to disagree with the 9th Circuit than to risk a bad ruling by the current Supreme Court.

The Al-Haramain case is over. Perhaps someday another court will adjudicate the scope of the president’s domestic wiretapping powers in a national climate less charged by post-9/11 fears.

With these words, Jon Eisenberg, the lawyer representing al-Haramain in its suit against the government for violating FISA, publicly described his decision not to appeal the 9th Circuit’s finding that the government is immune from penalties for violating FISA.

The resolution of the al-Haramain case has been little noted in the halls of DC. But it really underlies the entire debate about the FISA Amendments Act extension.

Because as shitty as the law just renewed is, the government also now knows that they don’t even have to follow that law. They are effectively immune from the law.

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7 Responses to Al-Haramain Will Not Appeal 9th Circuit Decision Immunizing Illegal Wiretapping

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @stephenlemons @RebekahLSanders @aliarau Yeah, but now it is going to be harder to take my growler boating.
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bmaz Better link for the previous DOJ-OPR tweet http://t.co/4U1gLWhHxm @MonaHol
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bmaz Two "liberal" Obama appointees, Patricia Millett+Nina Pillard join hack Janice Rogers Brown to screw Shirley Sherrod http://t.co/S9WMGtTJND
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bmaz @joshgerstein Bleech
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bmaz Another suspension+disbarment for former AUSA where DOJ-OPR and David Margolis had whitewashed misconduct http://t.co/2vHBkAjhmO
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bmaz @OBEYshiba The case was originally Hart v. Hill and was first filed in late 1970's. Carroll was the judge on it forever+left quite a record.
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bmaz @OBEYshiba Yes and no. Was good for Wake, but he was somewhat constrained by prior rulings in the case by Earl Carroll, the original judge.
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emptywheel @TimothyS But it's okay bc he's a Jesuit.
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emptywheel @TimothyS Oh wait--still unpub working thread. But check out DHS D that TTIC implemented. Start to finish this is Brennan.
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emptywheel @B_Amer Safe is most important. I assume you're headed via Missoula, tho? You'll like that.
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emptywheel @TimothyS I didn't forget! I did, however, add the bit abt TTIC starting this which is a nice prelude.
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emptywheel @B_Amer I hear you. Tomorrow, right?
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