News reports over the past six months concerning illegal government snooping on citizens and a distressing disregard for Constitutional rights have served to alert many in the populace that their government has become an unrecognizable malevolent force that pits the elitist power structure against “we the people.”
The IRS was used by the Obama administration to silence Tea Party groups prior to the 2012 general election by tying up their requests for tax exempt status with endless delays and frivolous questions. Members of the media, such as Fox News reporter James Rosen, were personally targeted by the Justice Department. The same thing happened to CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson.
In addition, the AP had its phone lines tapped — phone lines on which nearly 100 reporters spoke to countless sources. The NSA placed under surveillance over 100 million American citizens in a vast, illegal scheme, a broad based dragnet in its supposed attempt to catch terrorists.
Later it was discovered that the government had also harassed Christian organizations such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, gun rights groups, pro-Israel groups, and most any source on the Internet and elsewhere that touted itself as a “patriot’ organization.
But as the New York Times reports today, these things have turned out only to be the tip of the iceberg.
The secretive FISA court which operates in the background has not only given its approval to such incursions on Constitutional rights but has created a body of new law out of thin air to justify its actions, to the tune of 100 pages of new laws.
Those new laws deal largely with surveillance. But this new body of law has tended to spill over into other areas as well, without the knowledge of the public, and without any input from citizens. The court hears only one side of these issues — the government side. And so far the court has approved each and every request submitted by the government.
At the center of the controversy regarding the powerful stealth court is a new doctrine of jurisprudence that maintains that there is a major exception to the Fourth Amendment rights of citizens. That exception has become known as “the doctrine of special needs,” that is, as long as government can show there is a special overriding need to discard the Fourth Amendment, it can do so without running afoul of Constitutional law.
The problem is that the Constitution allows for no such special needs exceptions that justify discarding Fourth Amendment rights.
In fact, the Constitution allows for no secretive court that makes new law and court precedent underground, without seeing the light of day. But the court, nonetheless, has become so powerful that even the Times stated that it is operating as a “parallel Supreme Court.”
The New York Times wrote,
Geoffrey R. Stone, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago, said he was troubled by the idea that the court is creating a significant body of law without hearing from anyone outside the government, forgoing the adversarial system that is a staple of the American justice system. “That whole notion is missing in this process,” he said.
But the problem with the FISA court is not merely the fact that it creates new law with no input from anyone except government but that the court exists at all. The entire notion of a secretive court that makes rulings on legal matters and creates law out of thin air is antithetical to everything for which America has stood for over 200 years.
And while the FISA court’s rulings are made in secret, the massive body of new law it has created directly impacts the lives of all citizens and determines judicial limitations on their guaranteed rights.
Terrorism or not, there is no way to justify the existence of this court in a free society. It should be investigated and fully dismantled.
Be sure to read my latest entry in the series, Musings After Midnight, titled, “Why my hope for a peaceful solution to the current mess in government has gone out the window.”
My popular series “Musings After Midnight” is now indexed at my blog, The Liberty Sphere.
You may also wish to visit my ministry site at Martin Christian Ministries.