Buried in an otherwise innocuous-appearing article in the New York Times about wiretapping was this chilling sentence: “The issue [of surveillance of individuals by law enforcement agencies] has added importance because [these technologies] developed by the United States to hunt for terrorists and drug traffickers can also be used by repressive regimes to hunt for political dissidents” [emphasis added].
An article in the Washington Post today relates how Supreme Court justices are spending the early days of the latest session parsing the language of various statutes to determine the merits of the constitutional questions arising from them. One day, says Robert Barnes, author of the piece, the definition of “file” is debated; the next day it’s “unavoidable” that must be defined in constitutional context. Later in the week, the justices pepper counsel with questions over the interplay between verb and adverb in the phrase “necessarily implies.” On that point, Chief Justice John G. Roberts laments, “…the adverb points one way and the verb points another.”
After congressional efforts to repeal the military’s long-standing policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” have failed to clear Congress, a federal court has issued an injunction to suspend the policy. According to Judge Virginia Phillips of Federal District Court for the Central District of California, the policy “infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members and prospective service members.”
Late last week a federal judge ruled that according to the settled case law undergirding the jurisprudence of the Commerce Clause, the individual mandate of ObamaCare is constitutional.