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17 December 2013


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Edward Amame

Millett got confirmed the D.C. Circuit. Two more Obama nominees are expected to be confirmed soon. That will shift the court count to 7 Dem-appointed judges and 4 GOP-appointed judges.

Who knows, maybe that will give Judge Leon's NSA data-mining ruling a better shot at standing.


Fiat justitia ruat caelum--let justice be done though the heavens fall. You have done your part, and Judge Leon has done his.

I wonder if the peculiar concept of "justice" that has wrapped itself around the detainees in this war on terror will be extended to the judge's most current decision. What would we call it? The end justifies the means?

I am always reminded of the speech put in the mouth of Sir Thomas More in "A Man for All Seasons." The one about "would you cut down the laws to get at the devil?"

More power to you, Brother Pat.

Norbert M Salamon

I read the Reasons for Judgement, Judge Leon has done a superb analysis at the issue before the Court. Hope he is not reversed.


All: Some days a jurist makes you proud to be a lawyer. This is one of those days.

joe brand

On a still-more-positive note, the ruling has upset John Yoo:


Alba Etie

Its refreshing to see the checks and balances actually really working in our system .


The story about the habeus case you mentioned was also inspiring. It's glad to see that sometimes there's a happy ending to some of our nation's mistakes.


Richard Armstrong

Eventually the decision will be overruled by the Roberts court. Mark my words. Examine their rulings on Citizens United, Bush v. Gore, Holder v. Shelby County, Gonzales v. Carhart.

Justices Thomas and Scalia have taken expensive gifts (Money, vacations, and material possessions) from groups appearing in front of their court. These “gifts” appear to be the quid in a quid pro quo, as these groups have virtually always received rulings in their favor from the Justices who they gave “gifts” to.

They are ultra conservative, pawns of the far right and have shown an amazing lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution.

Klayman v. Obama will be overturned by another 5 to 4 decision. Mark my words.

Babak Makkinejad

Reminds me of the If Castle and Edmund Dantes - a.k.a. The Count of Monte Cristo.


And remember, Yoo was the Bush administration lawyer who decided that what the military had considered (as well as prosecuted people under) for decades as torture, was actually not torture and was acceptable. Two days after taking office, Obama signed an Executive Order revoking all guidance issued by Yoo and his ilk in the Office of Legal Counsel.
Remember that an Office of Professional Responsibility report concluded that Yoo had "committed 'intentional professional misconduct' when he advised the CIA it could proceed with waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques.
That alone should disqualify Yoo from making pronouncments about court rulings..much less practicing law.


A rare and welcome win for the Constitution in the DC Circuit. I can't imagine that Justice won't appeal, sadly. Congratulations on your work, Col., to get that fellow released from the limbo of Guantanamo.

Medicine Man

If John Yoo is upset by this then I'm going to file that under "bedeviling the right people".

joe brand

Or look at Scalia's dissent in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. This is a cheap shot.

Norbert M Salamon

to those who might find it interesting, Mr. Greenwald's testimony to the EU parliament [approx. 1 hour] is on RT.com now.

The Twisted Genius

Judge Leon's decision is a significant step in restoring our constitutional rights. By itself, I fear it would be overturned by the Supreme Court and forgotten. However, Leon's decision is just one of many steps in the struggle. A review panel established by Obama just released its report on the NSA. It recommended no government storing of US person phone and and internet records, no government mandated backdoors in communication systems, no undermining of global encryption standards and no stockpiling of zero day exploits. This reinforces the IT industry and congressional efforts to curb the surveillance state.



Or the pretzel the Roberts Court twisted itself into to justify the ACA.

Your guy could stop this tomorrow if he wanted - its laughable but expected you think Scalia is the problem.

robt willmann

Here is the video of the appearance, via a video link, by Glenn Greenwald before the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs, which I think occurred today, 18 December--


It is one hour long.

When it comes to the "European Union", this is the pot calling the kettle black. The tracking of Internet use and data retention about it in the EU is very intrusive, as well as of telephone use.

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel Lang,

Once Turkey also had decent judiciary. No longer. It is, however, poetic justice that the smear apparatus used to jail Turkish Army officers are now being used against the erdogan regime. His days are numbered.

Here are a few links:

erdogan’s claims of “smears” are exactly applicable to the fake investigations and kangaroo courts that convicted those officers. The “democracy lovers” who applauded those convictions should feel ashamed of themselves. They are either deluded fools or kleptocrats.

The tayyip regime has other distinctions. They jailed the most journalists, again with false evidence.

Things will be interesting in Turkey over the next five years.

Ishmael Zechariah

William R. Cumming

Judge Leon stayed his own ruling allowing time for review!

nick b

I live around the corner from John Yoo's high school alma mater. When they moved the campus out here the area couldn't handle the traffic. The school built a rotary/traffic circle to help. It's no help, in fact it's worse. I like to refer to it as the 'John C. Yoo rotary' for bringing this little bit of traffic torture into our neighborhood.


I have to be the pessimist since this happens so rarely. But, Pat, the case must have been a lift for your spirits.

Medicine Man

I dunno Tyler. I think this might be an issue where the Executive and the Judiciary are in harmony. I will be happy if proven wrong though.

robt willmann

Perhaps in response to Judge Leon's ruling and written decision, the Obama White House released the 303-page report of the president's "review group" on intelligence and communications technologies, which can be found here--


The 48 recommendations are on pages 26-44 of the pdf format file and on pages 24-42 of the report.

What is important about the recommendations and the problem with them is what they are silent on and do not recommend be done.

For example, number five says that "legislation should be enacted that terminates the collection of bulk telephony meta-data by the government under section 215 [of the Anti-Patriot Act]...." Notice the weasel words, "under section 215". This does not prevent the collection of bulk telephony meta-data under some other statute, so-called "executive order", or a secret interpretation of a law that we are not allowed to see.

Furthermore, we are assuming that the real meaning of the word "collection" is being used in the recommendation, and not the secret, fraudulent definition cooked up and used by the NSA and others in which collecting is not collecting, but instead means to look at or to listen to something that was acquired earlier.


Oh, I believe they are in harmony. I was just dismissing Armstrong's belief that Scalia and Thomas were the main drivers behind this nonsense so he could avoid committing Crimethink.

Alba Etie

I guess he will have to go cry on David Addington's shoulders

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