December 20, 2005


Martin Garbus compares Bush's legal defence with Nixon's:
In its filed brief the Justice Department claimed there were 1,562 bombing incidents in the United States from January 1, 1971 to July 1, 1971, including the bombing of the Capitol building, and that the "seriousness and magnitude, (of these) threats and acts of sabotage against the government exist in sufficient number to justify [these] powers." Robert Mardian, who was later to become a Watergate defendant, argued before the Court on behalf of the government that there was, in effect, an ongoing war within the United States that justified invoking the president's powers as Commander-in-Chief, a power which overrode the privacy rights of American citizens as provided for in the Fourth Amendment to the constitution of the United States.

A unanimous Supreme Court (the vote was 8-0, with Justice Rehnquist recusing himself because he was in the Justice Department legal counsel's office when the domestic spying program was formulated), with Justice Powell writing the opinion, in United States v. U.S. District Court, unambiguously rejected any such notion, articulating a clear-cut admonition to those who would diminish the import of the Fourth Amendment by suggesting that domestic spying at the whim of the president would be permitted under any circumstances.


Exadios said...

Well, that was that court and we now have the court that we have. Be interesting to consider how Nixon would have gone before this court.

On the plus side we can expect no more complaining from Bush about the Patriot Act not being renewed. This president is beyond the law so its irrelevent whether it passes or not.

gandhi said...

It makes you wonder, doesn't it, why they even bother pushing so hard for unpopular laws, when they believe they can do whatever they want anyway.

Why not just declare a dictatorship and have done with it?

The answer, of coures, is the people would not allow it (would they???).

And that is the other big difference between today and Nixon's times: the people of the USA (even Conservatives) once held real values dear, and morality was more than just spin.

Exadios said...

"And that is the other big difference between today and Nixon's times":

That's true. The Republican party of the 60s and 70s was much more of a Yankee patrician party than it is now (Barry Goldwater not withstanding). What changed was that Reagan enlisted the support of the Christian Right and things have not been the same since. The Republican Party is now just a corrupt shell of what it was.


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