Breaking News: NSA Wiretapping Violates FISA

News just popped up on AP wire a few minutes ago. Findlaw doesn’t have anything about it yet. But the actual opinion and judgement/injunction are handily already up on Eastern District of Michigan website.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants, its agents, employees, representatives, and any other persons or entities in active concert or participation with Defendants, are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly utilizing the Terrorist Surveillance Program (hereinafter “TSP”) in any way, including, but not limited to, conducting warrantless wiretaps of telephone and internet communications, in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (hereinafter “FISA”) and Title III;

The opinion is forty-three pages. Will take a while to digest, but you know what I’ll be reading this weekend. Hoo boy!

Late Update: Looks like the injunction will be stayed pending appeal, although I’m not so sure on the details. Seems like ACLU has agreed to government’s request to delay enforcement, but then also government is set to argue on Sept. 7 for such a stay. And but also any appeal will go to the Sixth Circuit.

Even Later Update: So instead of Judge Taylor’s opinion, I took home to read a printout of a policy address by Senator John Edwards at the National Press Club in June.

Later Late Update: But I didn’t have time to read it.

Later Latest Last Update: And apparently Judge Taylor’s opinion is getting no respect anywhere. Here’s Prof. Laurence Tribe defending it:

It’s altogether too easy to make disparaging remarks about the quality of the Taylor opinion, which seems almost to have been written more to poke a finger in the President’s eye than to please the legal commentariat or even, alas, to impress an appellate panel …

Had I been in her place, I never would have reached the difficult First and Fourth Amendment issues that she disposed of so summarily when a powerful, and indeed all but impregnable, statutory path to decision at least appeared to be available under the FISA. I also would have been less ready to find standing on the part of the complainants without much more meticulous analysis than Judge Taylor undertook; I would obviously have grappled with the “special needs” exception if I had reached the Fourth Amendment claim; and I can’t imagine not addressing the 2002 decision by the FSIA [sic?] Court of Review.