Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Part of Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional
Who knows how the Supreme Court would rule if -- when -- it gets the case? But it's nice to see a federal judge rule that the parts of the Patriot Act authorizing unwarranted search and seizure are unconstitutional because they violate the Fourth Amendment. Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is confused enough that it probably provides precedent for almost any judicial course of action. The Drug War has contributed mightily to the erosion of protection from unwarranted search and seizure, so who knows how the high court might rule in this case, involving Brandon Mayfield who, in a marvelous show of investigative incompetence, was erroneously linked to the Madrid bombings. The court could rule that his rights were violated without necessarily invalidating the NSA surveillance program. At least it's a show of judicial independence at the "lower" levels of the court system.