Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Did Pun Plamondon bring down Richard Nixon?
UNITED STATES v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, 407 U.S. 297 (1972) 407 U.S. 297
UNITED STATES v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN ET AL. (PLAMONDON ET AL., REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST) CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT No. 70-153. Argued February 24, 1972 Decided June 19, 1972
1. Section 2511 (3) is merely a disclaimer of congressional intent to define presidential powers in matters affecting national security, and is not a grant of authority to conduct warrantless national security surveillances. Pp. 301-308. [407 U.S. 297, 298]
2. The Fourth Amendment (which shields private speech from unreasonable surveillance) requires prior judicial approval for the type of domestic security surveillance involved in this case. Pp. 314-321; 323-324.
(a) The Government's duty to safeguard domestic security must be weighed against the potential danger that unreasonable surveillances pose to individual privacy and free expression. Pp. 314-315.
(b) The freedoms of the Fourth Amendment cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillances are conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive Branch without the detached judgment of a neutral magistrate. Pp. 316-318.
(c) Resort to appropriate warrant procedure would not frustrate the legitimate purposes of domestic security searches. Pp. 318-321.
New York Review Volume 53, Number 2 · February 9, 2006
ON NSA SPYING: A LETTER TO CONGRESS: "Dear Members of Congress: We are scholars of constitutional law and former government officials. We write in our individual capacities as citizens concerned by the Bush administration's National Security Agency domestic spying program, as reported in The New York Times, and in particular to respond to the Justice Department's December 22, 2005, letter to the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees setting forth the administration's defense of the program. Although the program's secrecy prevents us from being privy to all of its details, the Justice Department's defense of what it concedes was secret and warrantless electronic surveillance of persons within the United States fails to identify any plausible legal authority for such surveillance. Accordingly the program appears on its face to violate existing law."