Monday, August 21, 2006

'Constitutional Blood on Their Hands'

District Judge Taylor has been catching heat for the "quality" of her ruling last week that found the National Security Agency's domestic spying program to be unconstitutional. Among the detractors is Adam Litvak of The New York Times. (Sorry I can't find a link to his article.)

This prompted a rejoinder from Laurence Tribe, the preeminent Harvard legal scholar:
My point isn’t that judges who play the role Judge Taylor did should never be held to account for the shoddy quality of their legal analysis; of course they should, especially in the context of sober second thoughts offered in law reviews and other scholarly venues. But it’s those with constitutional blood on their hands who deserve to be chastized most insistently in the public press, and it seems to me something of an indulgence to spend so much time complaining in the media that the judge who called foul used some ill-chosen rhetoric, and that she stuttered and sputtered a bit more than necessary, when the principal effects might well be to underscore one’s own professional credentials and one’s cleverness and even-handedness and fair-mindedness at the expense of distracting the general public from the far more important conclusion that the nation’s chief executive has been guilty of a shamelessly unlawful power grab.

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