It’s about time the violation of the 4th Amendment is addressed by the courts:
For the first time since the revelation of the National Security
Agency’s vast dragnet of all Americans’ telephone records, a federal
court has ruled that such surveillance is “significantly likely” to be unconstitutional. In a scathing 68-page opinion
peppered with exclamations of incredulity, United States District Judge
Richard Leon, of the Federal District Court of the District of
Columbia, found that the seven-year-old phone-data collection program —
which was established under the Patriot Act and has been repeatedly
reauthorized by a secret intelligence court — “almost certainly”
violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable
Reaching into the 18th century from the 21st, the judge wrote that James
Madison “would be aghast” at the degree of privacy invasion the data
sweep represents. The ruling by Judge Leon, who was nominated to the bench by President
George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, was remarkable for many reasons, but
mainly because there were real people sitting in open court challenging
the government’s lawyers over the program’s constitutionality.
The plaintiffs, led by Larry Klayman, a conservative legal activist,
sued the government after the program came to light. A similar suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union is in a federal court in New York. Judge Leon’s opinion took issue with the government’s reliance on a 1979
Supreme Court case, Smith v. Maryland, which upheld the police’s
warrantless capture of phone numbers dialed from the home of a robbery
suspect on grounds that the suspect had no reasonable expectation of
privacy in the numbers he dialed.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully expect the Roberts Supreme Court to decide that blanket surveillance is not an unreasonable search. After all, there is always an emanation or a penumbra out there somewhere to imagine and cite. But, in doing so, its actions will only underline the fact that the Constitution is now null and void.
And that will permit for the pro-Constitutional side to finally get in the game and start redefining the living, breathing version to its own liking.