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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Thursday, September 30, 2004


Media Loses Site Of Large Intestine

Sadly it would appear that the Media has yet lost site of their large intestine in favor of cramming their collective head further up their GI tract. Why do I use such graphically anatomical language? Simple, I literally just finished reading this story (by way of Drudge) about part of the Patriot Act being struck down. I then went over to The Volokh Conspiracy to see if I could find an update about Orin Kerr's questions, only to find this post at the top:

Mainstream Media Ruled Unconstitutional: No, not really. But is it too much to ask that when the mainstream media reports on court decisions that they properly identify the law that is struck down and the Administration that is rebuked? Apparently it is, at least if the Thursday morning papers are any guide.

As I noted in my post below, a recent decision of the Southern District of New York struck down part of a 1986 law known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. How does the press report the decision? No mention of the 1986 law, of course. Instead, the press is reporting that the court struck down a major part of the Patriot Act, in a blow to the Bush Administration's overzealous response to terrorism. As I trace the history of the statute, this is quite inaccurate: the basic law was implemented in 1986, almost 20 years ago. To be fair, the Patriot Act did amend some language in this section; just not in a relevant way. As best I can tell, the court's decision does not rely on or even address anything in the Patriot Act. (See page 14-22 of the Court's opinion for the details of the statute's history.)
I'll take me chances and choose to believe Mr. Kerr (a GW law professor) over the venerated Grey Lady.

This yet another sad example of the Media not just getting the story wrong, but (will wonders never cease) just by coincidence making it sound like the Bush Admin's nefarious plot was narrowly thwarted by a Judge-Paladin. Amazing.

Thank you Orin. Keep up the great work.


Orin again comes through and points us to this press release by Sen. John Cornyn setting the record straight:

In a press release, the ACLU’s Executive Director claimed that “[t]his is a landmark victory against the Ashcroft Justice Department.” In truth, it was a judicial action against a Leahy-sponsored amendment.

The court did not rule that any part of the USA PATRIOT Act is unconstitutional. Yet the ACLU immediately and falsely claimed—and the media reported—that the court had struck down the USA PATRIOT Act as unconstitutional.

In the case, Doe v. Ashcroft, decided yesterday, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero struck down 18 U.S.C. § 2709 as unconstitutional. But as he noted, “Section 2709 has been available to the FBI since 1986.”

Update 2:

The Volokh Conspiracy (Orin, in particular) gets attention. Blogger Power!


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