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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

FISA judge resigns in protest

This story is gaining legs in the mainstream media and well it should. President Bush secret surveillance of Americans without a warrant is basically big brother run amok and should be an impeachable offense. Judge Robertson's resignation from the FISA court is just the tip of the iceberg in regard to this slowly brewing scandal.

From the AP:

A federal judge has resigned from a special court set up to oversee government surveillance, apparently in protest of
President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program on people with suspected terrorist ties.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson would not comment Wednesday on his resignation, but The Washington Post reported that it stemmed from deep concern that the surveillance program Bush authorized was legally questionable and may have tainted the work of the court.

An aide to Robertson said the resignation letter submitted to Chief Justice John Roberts was not being released. Robertson did not step down from his district judgeship in Washington.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan would not discuss Robertson's resignation or the reasons cited for his departure. "Judge Robertson did not comment on the matter and I don't see any reason why we need to," McClellan said.

Robertson was one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees government applications for secret surveillance or searches of foreigners and U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism or espionage. Robertson's term was to end in May.

"This was definitely a statement of protest,"
said Scott Silliman, a former Air Force attorney and Duke University law professor. "It is unusual because it signifies that at least one member of the court believes that the president has exceeded his legal authority."