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Friday, August 18, 2006

Bush expects domestic surveillance program to be upheld on appeal
Joshua Pantesco at 3:07 PM ET

[JURIST] After a federal judge ruled the NSA domestic surveillance program unconstitutional [JURIST report; opinion, PDF text] on Thursday, President Bush said Friday in an appearance at Camp David [press release] that he believes the ruling will be overturned on appeal. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed a notice of appeal hours after the opinion was released, signaling its intent to challenge the ruling before the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website]. Responding to a reporter's question, Bush said:

I would say that those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live. You might remember last week working with the -- with people in Great Britain, we disrupted a plot. People were trying to come and kill people.

This country of ours is at war, and we must give those whose responsibility it is to protect the United States the tools necessary to protect this country in a time of war. The judge's decision was a -- I strongly disagree with that decision, strongly disagree. That's why I instructed the Justice Department to appeal immediately, and I believe our appeals will be upheld.
US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who ruled that the NSA wiretaps violate free speech and privacy rights, issued a permanent injunction order [PDF text] compelling the government to immediately cease using warrantless wiretaps to intercept communications of suspected terrorists when one party to the communication is outside the US. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represented the plaintiffs [ACLU case materials] in the case, has agreed to delay enforcement of the injunction until September 7, when Taylor is scheduled to hear arguments on whether the government should be granted a stay to continue the program until the appeals process is exhausted. DOJ lawyers will argue that the domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] is necessary to prevent terrorism. AP has more.

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