Take heed President Bush- “There are no hereditary kings in
America and no powers not created by the Constitution,” wrote Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court in Detroit. Her decision was based on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Presidential oath of office is simple and only 35 words- “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” But those 35 words are a sacred trust with the American people. President Bush has broken his trust with the American people and violated his oath of office.
According to Judge Diggs’ decision, the Bush administration not only violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) when he ordered the National Security Agency to spy without a warrant on international phone calls and e-mail by Americans and foreign residents of the United States but it also violated the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as the rights of free speech and association granted by the First Amendment.
So, President Bush broke his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Judge Taylor said the government appeared to argue that the program is beyond judicial scrutiny. “It was never the intent of the framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights,” she wrote. “The three separate branches of government were developed as a check and balance for one another.”
I guess that the Bush administration doesn’t think much of the concept of checks and balances in the Constitution and would chalk up that basic tenet as a fabrication of “activist judges”. But alas, it is not. The Bush administration, in its imperious zeal, has over stepped its bounds and has attempted to obliterate the protections of the Constitution.
If only the administration had sought out a FISA warrant from the secret FISA court- all would be well with the world and the Constitution. But the Bush administration does not think that it should be fettered by the rules of the Constitution. As Judge Diggs so aptly wrote, “There are no hereditary kings in
America.” This is true even if your father was also President.