number 45     03.26.
interpreting the constitution
Documents Reveal Evidence of Widespread Domestic
previous editions archive
Amid growing concern over the
nature and scope of the Bush
administration’s warrantless
wiretapping programs, a number of
recently published documents and
court filings have sought details of
government surveillance activities
within the United States.

Since December, when it was
revealed that President Bush had
authorized agents of the National
Security Agency to engage in
surveillance of American citizens
without a court order, defense
attorneys in a variety of criminal and
civil cases have filed motions seeking
information about surveillance
against their clients. Persistent
concerns about possible government
spying have led
to the American Civil Liberties Union
filing Freedom of Information Act
requests on behalf of more than 150
groups and individuals in 20 states.

In a set of responses to questions
from Congress about the
controversial surveillance programs,
the Justice Department has revealed
that traditionally privileged
communications between lawyers
and their clients or doctors and their
patients could be monitored by the
NSA. Evidence gathered from
eavesdropping on such
conversations could then be used in
court, according to the Justice
Department responses. The
introduction of evidence gathered
from warrantless
wiretaps into court proceedings
has been a contentious issue
within the Bush administration.
Press reports indicate that FBI
Director Robert Mueller has
raised doubts as to the
admissibility of such evidence.

Defense attorneys in a terrorism
related case in Portland, Oregon
have written to the US Attorney to
complain that their law offices and
even their homes had apparently
been searched by government
agents. The attorneys’ Freedom
of Information Act requests for
information from the NSA were
recently refused.  
it's all true
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

spread of the red
fun d' mental
Congressional Bill Proposes to End What Scalia Refers to as
Kentucky Pols Erect
Edifice of Legislation
to Replace Christian
A bill currently before Congress
would outlaw the application of
international law and the laws of
foreign governments in American
jurisprudence.  The resolution would
disallow basing judicial
determinations in American courts on
foreign judgments or laws.

The sponsors of the resolution feel
that “Americans should not have to
look for guidance” in their
interpretation the law in constitutional
cases and that such judicial thinking
is a “threat to the sovereignty of the
United States.”  The sponsors of the
bill feel that judges should make
rulings on what is referred to in the
bill as the “original meaning of the
Constitution”, or

Two justices of the US Supreme
Court recently made public
comments on the
theory;  Justice Scalia  and Justice
Ginsburg’s.  Ginsberg's defense of
taking what she referredto as a
“comparative perspective in
constitutional adjudication” resulted
in calls for her impeachment.

Justice Scalia said to an audience in
Puerto Rico that, “you would have to
be an idiot to believe” that the US
Constitution is a living document that
can be applied to modern legal
problems, both cultural and
technological.  Scalia, instead,
believes that "the Constitution is not
a living organism, it is a legal
document.”  Scalia said he feels that
those who hold other interpretations
want to create “the right to abortion
or the right to homosexual
activity, they want that right to be
embedded from coast to coast."
Justice Ginsburg told an audience
in South Africa that American
justices should be open to a
“respect for the opinions of
human kind” as they interpret
constitutional law.  Ginsburg said
the writers of the constitution
knew that “times can blind us to
certain truths and later
generations can see that laws
once thought necessary…in fact
serve only to oppress.”

The resolution, sponsored by
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), has 83
signatories. The bill was
forwarded for review to the full
congressional committee last
September on an 8 to 3
it's all true
The Ten Commandments
could be posted government
buildings in the state of
Kentucky under legislation
awaiting the signature of the
state’s governor.  The
legislation passed the
Kentucky House of
Representatives on a 95-5
vote recently.  

The bill will allow the display of
the national motto "In God We
Trust" on the wall directly
behind the dais of the Speaker
of the House of
Representatives.  The US
Congress established the
national motto in the late

The new law was prompted in
part by state representatives
who vowed to return a 6-foot-
tall granite monument bearing
the biblical directives known as
the ‘Ten Commandments’ to
the lawn outside the Kentucky
state Capitol.  The monument
was moved after a judge
determined that the monument
amounted to the state support
of a specific religion.

The statute would return the
monument with the Ten
Commandments back to the
grounds of the state capitol
accompanied by a plaque that
sets out the legislative history
of the bill.

"The governor looks forward to
signing this bill," said a
spokesman for Republican
Governor Ernie Fletcher.   
Fletcher is an ordained Baptist
it's all true
red state rebate
Babs Bush Pioneers Ownership
Charitable Donations to Hurricane Victims
Life expectancy at
0       20       40     60       80
Former First Lady Barbara Bush
recently gave a donation of an
undisclosed amount of money to victims
of this year’s hurricanes with instructions
that the her donation be used to
purchase educational software from a
company owned by her son, the
president’s brother, Neil Bush.  Since
her donation, eight Houston area
schools that accepted students
displaced by Hurricane Katrina have
received the software program

"Mrs. Bush wanted to do something
specifically for education and specifically
for the thousands of students flooding
into the Houston schools," said a   
spokesperson for Ms. Bush.

Neil Bush founded the software company
called Ignite in 1999.  The
company makes learning software
that prepares students to take the
standardized tests that are
mandated by the president’s
education program called ‘No
Child Left Behind”.  80 percent of
the company’s business comes
from Texas schools. Ignite has
hired recently sales
representatives throughout the
country to market the software to
school districts.

There are currently 40 schools
that use the test taking software in
the Houston area.  The Houston
school district has yet to evaluate
the software program’s
it's all true
source: CIA Fact Book
interpreting the constitution
spread of the red
Secret Docketing System Allows
Courts to Skirt Sixth Amendment
Federal Funds
Give Colleges a
Sense of Security






previous editions

Links of the Week

Mikhail Bakunin:What is
Authority? published 1871

Albrecht Durer biographical
webpage by the University of
St. Andrews

The Preservation of Historic
Barns Technical Preservation
Services, National Park

Dick Cheney's Suite Demands

contact us
The US District Court for the District
of Columbia has processed more
than 450 cases in the last five years
in total secrecy from indictment
through sentencing, with no public
record that the cases ever existed.
The cases are more secret than
sealed cases, which have public case
numbers in the court’s docket. The
secret docket was revealed after an
investigation by the Reporters
Committee for Freedom of the Press.
A separate investigation by the
Associated Press found that some
5000 defendants nationwide had
their cases completely sealed over
the past three years.

The AP reported that the incidence
of sealed cases more than doubled
between 2003 and 2005, and
confirmed the DC court’s use of a
hidden docketing system for secret
prosecutions. The investigation also
found that federal prosecutors’ use
of secret court proceedings had
increased sharply during the period
studied. Most of the sealed cases are
drug or gang-related, although a
small number are terrorism or
national security cases.

The RCFP searched the DC court’s
entire criminal and civil docket for
2000-2005 to determine how many
cases had been prosecuted in
secret. They found that at least 469
cases, an average of 18 percent of
the criminal cases in the court
system, were not properly docketed.
The report concludes, “The
incomplete public dockets raise
important public policy concerns
about openness to court
proceedings, an attribute of English
and American trials for centuries.”

The US Court of Appeals for the 11th
Circuit, which covers Alabama,
Florida, and Georgia, has ruled that
the use of secret dockets violates the
Constitution’s Sixth Amendment
guarantee of public trials. The Court
of appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which
covers Connecticut, New York, and
Vermont, has also ruled that hidden
docketing systems are
unconstitutional. But critics of the
prosecutorial secrecy point out the
difficulty of reviewing proceedings
that are kept out of the public eye.
Because these cases often involve
deals between defendants and
prosecutors, it remains in the interest
of both parties to keep the
transactions secret in perpetuity.
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The Department of Homeland
Security has earmarked over $4
billion for research and
development for fiscal year 2007,
with $64 million to be directly
awarded in grants and
scholarships to colleges and
universities that offer degrees,
certificates, or coursework related
to security issues. The majority of
these funds will go to community
colleges, some 80% of which offer
such programs, according to a
report by the American
Association of Community

Educational institutions are
increasingly interested in
developing curricula in the areas
of counter terrorism and security,
as they vie for a portion of the
DHS budget, which has increased
significantly each year since
2002. Several  major universities
are beginning to offer courses
designed to attract DHS dollars.
Experts agree that security
related fields will be among the
fastest–growing  for the
foreseeable future.
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back to top of
verbatim                                                                            number 9.1
"First, just if I might correct
a misperception. I don't
think we ever said, at least
I know I didn't say, that
there was a direct
connection between
September the 11th and
Saddam Hussein…
…I don't want to be
argumentative, but I
was very careful
never to say that
Saddam Hussein
ordered the attacks
on America."
Washington DC  03.22.06