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 @armandodkos You know I love you right?
2mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @armandodkos Heh, Yes, I, of all people, am Mr. Beltway. Good one!
2mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @armandodkos Attacking and scolding people that agree with you seems a poor use of time.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @armandodkos I dunno, I think fact I agree w/King decision+think it should prevail does that sufficiently. Just not belligerent enough for U
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Wonder if a futile suit against the President will lead Congress to do something about expansive immunity claims? Prolly not.
28mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @granick If they get handset ID because you're sitting next to me, is that CDR? Not traditionally, no. But it is included in permitted IDs.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @granick We know they intend to use track burners. So if they're doing that analysis why would we believe they're not using location?
43mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @granick Not at all. They have to return to a CDR at each step. Says nothing about what they do to get there.
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @LemonSlayerUS I'm talking NGOs, not members of Congress.
45mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Fairly certain we've known for over 5 years Powell was not briefed on torture until September 16, 2002.
45mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Maybe I'm wrong and NSA doesn't intend to do contact chaining on location. But wouldn't it be smart to get something in writing first?
53mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Bunch of privacy NGOs just supported legislation w/o first getting promised assurances for ODNI it doesn't put NSA in our smartphones.
55mreplyretweetfavorite
January 2013
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