In the rapidly approaching-legendary EFF vs. AT&T suit currently underway, the Justice Department has filed a brief claiming that they are above judicial review (and I quote):
"The court-even if it were to find unlawfulness upon in camera, ex parte review-could not then proceed to adjudicate the very question of awarding damages because to do so would confirm Plaintiffs' allegations."Or, as the EFF interprets the government's statement:
Essentially the Government is saying that, even if the Judiciary found the wholesale surveillance program was illegal after reviewing secret evidence in chambers, the Court nevertheless would be powerless to proceed, because the Executive has asserted that the Program, which has been widely reported in every major news outlet, is nevertheless still such a secret that the Judiciary (a co-equal branch under the Constitution) cannot acknowledge its existence by ruling against it. In short, the Government asserts that AT&T and the Executive can break the laws crafted by Congress, and there is nothing the Judiciary can do about it.If you'll recall, the Executive Branch has already made the Legislative irrelevant by creating federal agencies which can essentially make laws through regulation. The judicial is, of course, the next logical target.
Louis-Quatorze would have been proud! L'Etat, c'est moi!
- The Duke