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DOJ appeals after Judge rules NSA wiretaps illegal

Published: Thursday August 17, 2006

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The US Department of Justice is appealing a ruling today by a A US district court today that the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretap program is unconstitutional, RAW STORY has learned.

In an injunction ordered an immediate halt to the program, US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor tore into warrantless surveillance, which she found "violates the Separation of Powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III."

The government is also, under the ruling, barred from monitoring Internet communication without warrants.

In announcing the appeal, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow today claimed that the program is "firmly grounded in law."

Democrats have hailed the ruling, with former presidential nominee Senator John Kerry (D-MA) blasting the Bush Administration on the issue as "good at hiding the truth and spinning the politics and sorely lacking when it comes to making America safe in the world or bringing people together at home."

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) characterized the program as, "another unfortunate example of how White House misdirection, arrogance and mismanagement have needlessly complicated our goal of protecting the American people."