OT: Two Legal Moves/Counter Moves [6:02 pm]
In a 28-page opinion, Hogan dismissed arguments that the first-ever raid on a congressman’s office violated the Constitution’s protections against intimidation of elected officials.
“Congress’ capacity to function effectively is not threatened by permitting congressional offices to be searched pursuant to validly issued search warrants,” said Hogan, who had approved the FBI’s request to conduct the overnight search of Jefferson’s office.
(Later: Judge Upholds F.B.I. Search of Lawmaker’s Office)Second, maneuvers: White House asks for dismissal of NSA wiretap suit - pdf
In both cases, the Bush administration has invoked a legal doctrine known as the “state-secrets privilege” that it has used to head off other court action spy programs.
“If the court accepts the state-secret argument, we are truly facing a constitutional crisis in this country,” Michael Steinberg, legal director for ACLU Michigan, told reporters after the hearing.
The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit in January, argues that the NSA wiretaps violate free-speech and privacy rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Government lawyers on Monday argued that the NSA program was key to protecting national security.