Ashcroft, Comey, Goldsmith, and Baker: “All” Is the “Best” Reading of “Relevant”

Four MusketeersTowards the end of the Memorandum of Law in support of the Internet dragnet — which was signed by those guys ———-> — DOJ makes a claim that its reading of “relevant” to mean “almost all” was the best possible reading.

Here, by contrast, reading the term “relevant” to permit the collection of this critical information during wartime is a construction rooted in the text that requires no stretching of the ordinary meaning of the terms of the statute at all. In fact, for all the reasons outlined above, interpreting section 402 to authorize the collection the Government has requested in the best reading of the plain terms of the Act.

This is why you should not have secret courts.

I get making an aggressive push to authorize dragnet surveillance.

I get mining old and foreign dictionaries to come up with a definition that suits your needs.

But after you’ve made your best ditch effort to stretch the meaning of words, secretly, beyond all recognition, don’t then, secretly, pat yourself on the back pretending that wasn’t the game you just pulled.

But hey. Who’s the chump? After all, we now know that Misters Ashcroft, Comey, Goldsmith, and Baker pulled this off.

Yet no one is making any effort to put the English language back on some kind of sane footing. Nothing in any of the “reform” efforts before Congress attempts to put sanity back into the word “relevant.”

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5 Responses to Ashcroft, Comey, Goldsmith, and Baker: “All” Is the “Best” Reading of “Relevant”

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @armandodkos Heh, yeah Ima get all over that.
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bmaz @gideonstrumpet What's "Facebook"?
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bmaz @ConnConnection I mean, if you could wander around down on the floor, and get close+hear, maybe. But this? Nope.
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bmaz @fedcourts Yeah, Restrepo is not the average Obama nom.
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bmaz @seanpaulkelley Is that the Pope?
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bmaz @realsaramerica @gideonstrumpet It was hard to carry on without Strumpet.
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bmaz Ted Cruz is a bloviating asshole, Part 2, 765 http://t.co/e26HGR4o8L
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bmaz @JustADCohen Has GA ever granted clemency?
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ScottGreenfield No no, dammit, my point was valid!
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bmaz The NFL wants $28.50 for the privilege of sitting in the stands and watching SB media day today. What kind of idiot would pay to do that?
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bmaz @fedcourts Can they get Restrepo confirmed?
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bmaz RT @ColMorrisDavis: Pres Romney wouldn't hide in India as #Snowghazi buries NE, he'd hitch up his ballet dancing horse & plow the entrance …
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