World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Lawyers Guild Supports Suit against Illegal Spying

National Lawyers Guild Supports Suit against Illegal Spying
Press Release
Tuesday 17 January 2006

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) will be providing legal counsel to the Center for Constitutional Rights and its attorneys in a suit to enjoin President Bush from engaging in illegal electronic surveillance without court orders. Michael Avery, President of the NLG, will be handling the case on behalf of the Guild and working with lawyers from the Center itself. Avery is a constitutional law professor at Suffolk Law School in Boston.

NLG President Michael Avery stated, "The president has no power under the Constitution to conduct electronic surveillance without a warrant. His claim that his role as commander in chief of the military gives him this power is an attempt to create an imperial presidency, in which the president is not subject to checks and balances by either the judiciary or by Congress. President Bush's actions are a threat to the continued existence of American constitutional democracy."

The Lawyers Guild noted that the suit is based on the fact that the Fourth Amendment forbids searches and electronic surveillance without a court order, and that Congress has explicitly provided that the only legal way to conduct electronic surveillance in national security cases is with a court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court or through ordinary criminal channels with a warrant from a United States District Court. The only exceptions to this requirement do not apply to the surveillance the president has authorized. Congress has made the surveillance that the president is conducting a criminal offense, a felony punishable by a five-year prison term.

The Executive Director of the Guild, Heidi Boghosian, noted, "The Center for Constitutional Rights has played an essential role in providing legal assistance for victims of the president's abuses of power, such as the prisoners at Guantanamo and others. The Guild is proud to provide our lawyers to the Center to help them halt the illegal electronic surveillance that is making it difficult for them to carry on their important work."

Founded in 1937 as the first racially integrated national bar association, the National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States, with more than 200 chapters. The Guild has a long history of representing individuals whose rights the government has violated by abusing its powers in the name of national security. Guild members defended FBI-targeted individuals and helped expose illegal FBI and CIA surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics (COINTELPRO) that the U.S. Senate "Church Commission" hearings detailed in 1975-76 and which led to enactment of the Freedom of Information Act and other specific limitations on federal investigative power.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news