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Federal judge gives domestic spying another week

[JURIST] US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor on Thursday rejected the Bush Administration’s proposal to continue its domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive; US DOJ fact sheet, PDF] while her August 17 decision [opinion, PDF] finding the program unconstitutional and ordering its shutdown is being appealed, but did allow the program to continue for one more week to allow the government to contest her refusal before the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website]. The US Justice Department (DOJ) [official website] had requested that the court permit the surveillance program during appeal - a process that would likely take months - because it said it was a crucial tool in preventing terrorist attacks. DOJ lawyer Anthony J. Coppolino argued “[w]hen the stakes are so great, we ask the court not to override the security judgment of the president and his security advisers.”

On August 17, Taylor ruled [JURIST report] that electronic surveillance of US residents ordered by President Bush following the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive] violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the US Constitution, separation of powers principles, the Administrative Procedures Act [text] and statutory law. The suit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] and other advocacy groups who claimed that the government should be required to obtain warrants. Bloomberg News has more.

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