Friday, November 8, 2013

End runs around the Constitution -- the NSA, Obama and the Fourth Amendment

End runs around the Constitution -- the NSA, Obama and the Fourth Amendment

The NSA and its congressional apologists have argued that because its task is essentially to gather foreign intelligence for national security purposes only, and because the Fourth Amendment, which requires detailed language in search warrants particularly describing the person or place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized, only restrains the government when it is engaged in criminal prosecutions and not when it is on a fishing expedition for intelligence purposes, the Fourth Amendment does not restrain the NSA.

Yet, the plain language of the Fourth Amendment protects everyone in America from government intrusion in their persons, houses, papers and effects, whether the government is looking for evidence of crimes or of evidence of sophistry.

The NSA’s argument that the Fourth Amendment only regulates criminal prosecutions is nonsense. It never has seriously been made to or accepted by the Supreme Court, and it defies what we now know about the client list of the NSA.