Saturday, April 01, 2006

Senator Spector Writes Bill that Ignores the difference between SCOTUS "Recognition" and "Decision"

Dear Senator Spector

In your bill (PDF) Page 3 lines 18-28 read:

18 (15) Federal agents investigating international terrorism by foreign enemies are

19 entitled to tools at least as broad as those used by Federal agents investigating

20 domestic crimes by United States citizens. The Supreme Court, in the "Keith Case",

21 United States v. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan,

22 407 U.S. 297 (1972), recognized that the standards and procedures used to fight

23 ordinary crime may not be applicable to cases involving national security. The Court

24 recognized that national "security surveillance may involve different policy and

25 practical considerations from the surveillance of ordinary crime" and that courts

26 should be more flexible in issuing warrants in national security cases. United States

27 v. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 407 U.S. 297,

28 322 (1972).

Please take note, Senator you say The Supreme Court "RECOGOGNISED" in what you misname the "Keith Case", (correctly called "The Keith Decision" for anyone trying to google it.) a portion of the decision that was made in Michigan. What the United States Supreme Court actually DECIDED in what would more likely be known as the "Plamondon Case" is as follows:

U.S. Supreme Court
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.



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