CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The complete text of the ruling by the Ohio-based 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals allowing the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program is 65-pages long.
It offers a comprehensive legal review about presidential powers and national security. It is definitely worth reading -- no matter which side you are on, pro-administration or not.
The appeals court split 2-1, with two Republican appointed judges backing President Bush. Julia Smith Gibbons of Tennessee and Alice Marie Batchelder of Medina County in Ohio were in the majority. Judge Ronald Lee Gilman, a Democrat and Memphis law school prof put on the bench by Bill Clinton, wrote the dissent. It starts on page 46 of the ruling.
Does it seem that our federal legal system is divided along party lines? Are their too many one-vote margins deciding major constitutional issues? And how much of this narrow outlook can be traced back to the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling after the disputed November 2000 presidential election; the election that Al Gore won by popular vote but lost by a sole vote in the legal system.