Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Signs of change in the court

By Libby Spencer

One thing I learned in all the years I worked at the law firm, rarely is a decision really final in the court. There's almost always a way to challenge an unwanted result and bless EFF for remembering that and continuing the fight against telecom immunity. They've been pressing the issue on rather complicated grounds and apparently the judge agrees that their arguments have merit.

Judge Walker has long seemed keen to reach a point where he can rule on the legality of the surveillance program -- something the government would hate.

He seemed to take most issue with the portion of the immunity provision that let the attorney general tell a judge to dismiss a case because there was no surveillance. That, Walker indicated, was unprecedented and alluded that the provision could be used to hide shenanigans.

At FDL, looseheadprop sums up my reaction to this pretty well.

So, folks, let me stand and applaud the power of one. One man who is not shirking his responsibility. One man who is not doing the lazy thing, the easy thing or the expedient thing. I don't know how he will eventually rule, and the outcome may disappoint me. But in this instance, I think I will be satisfied that the decision was actually reached on its merits. That's been too rare in recent years.

Yes. Yes it has been all too rare and one can hope this signals a return to renewed respect for the rule of law.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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