Friday, July 14, 2006
Round Up (7-14-06)
*** I know I’ve been somewhat absent the last couple days. There’s a family member that was in the hospital, but all is fine now.

• I’m not really sure what will happen with the . If anything, we should get some interesting depositions, but honestly, I don’t think they have a leg to stand on. has a lot more.
• The horrible , which would basically legalize the illegal NSA spying program, doesn’t seem to be retroactive, .

Although the ACLU accuses the Specter bill of providing a "pardon" for the President's prior criminal conduct -- and also of "expressly create(ing) a retroactive exception to criminal liability when warrantless wiretapping is done at the president’s discretion" -- it seems they are criticizing the bill's recognition of the President's inherent authority to eavesdrop going forward. There is no reference to any express provision providing for retroactive de-criminalization of past violations of FISA, which leads me to believe that it is not, in fact, in this bill, or else the ACLU would emphasize it in their opposition.

I know this is all less than clear, but between figuring out which version of the bill is the current one, and which provisions it contains, the matter itself is unclear. But it seems to me now that although there is a (weak) argument to make that this bill provides retroactive legalization, it does not do so in the explicit sense that the prior Specter bill did. Instead, it merely enables the administration to claim that Congress is now recognizing the administration's inherent authority to eavesdrop -- a point which, even if true, would not (as Hamdan and Youngstown made clear) excuse the administration's exercise of that power in the face of a Congressional statute which imposes limitations on the power.

This bill is the result of an internal struggle within Specter. On one side is Specter the Republican, and on the other is Specter the Senator, trying to uphold the Constitution. Until Specter stops worrying about being a Republican and starts doing what’s right, we’ll get these half assed bills that only address one part of the problem.

UPDATE1 3:37 PM: I wonder if the person who sent is a Coulter/Malkin spawn. You know, a really crazy Conservative who really believes the rhetoric that Malkin and Coulter spew - unlike the spewers themselves- , and thus thinks that bringing violence to the Times is the best way to, like, save the country.


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