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.


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.


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
emptywheel @matthew_d_green Nah. Instead let's just pass a bill that guts ECPA and immunizes corporations that make dumb decisions.
bmaz @PogoWasRight @davidrook @walterwkatz Well, yeah...Fittipaldi, Hunt, Senna, Prost etc. Hard to argue with that.
emptywheel @matthew_d_green Also, we call low-margin widgets that aren't profitable enough for reliable processors "smart appliances." #DeathBySmart
emptywheel @matthew_d_green That's because we're putting embedded processors in so many low-margin widgets we HAVE to be cheap.
emptywheel RT @matthew_d_green: Our civilization is likely to be undone by our desire to save 4 cents per embedded processor shipped.
emptywheel In other words, even as we debate transparency in USAF, the IC is giving us VERY clear evidence they will never give us timely transparency
emptywheel DOJ IG finished Section 215 report almost a year ago. Claim that it is STILL being declassified a year later is...unpersuasive.
emptywheel @p2wy Yeah, only we're not Toronto and we're not LA, so it's not gonna work.
emptywheel @p2wy They'd be able to outsource not-fixing them to buddies for profit?
bmaz @PogoWasRight @davidrook @walterwkatz Like this better than the chrome, but miss the orange/white of Marlboro years
emptywheel RT @brianjbowe: @nickmanes1 @emptywheel man, if we start drawing dicks around all of MI's problems:
January 2013
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