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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Of Spying and the Supremes



The Alito hearings are scheduled to resume this morning at 9:30 am ET, with the questioning set to begin with Sen. Specter and, as far as I can tell, making its way through the same order that was used yesterday for opening statements.

One issue that was clearly on the minds of everyone yesterday (With the exception of Tom Coburn who pretty much only thought about abortion...no litmus test here...) was that of an Imperial Presidency, restoration of separation of powers, and where Judge Alito would come down on issues that are almost certain to make their way to the Supreme Court in the next few years. With Alito's history of deference to Executive power, this is shaping up to be a tough day of questioning today.

It was certainly on the minds of the FISA Court judges who, yesterday, received a briefing on the Preznit's illegal Fourth Amendment violations and power grab actions in spying on Americans without a warrant by DoJ attorneys. No word on what was asked, but my money is on someone saying "What in the hell were you thinking?"

Seems the Congressional Research Service says that the Preznit and his legal advisors were off base as well. (See here and here.)

We are likely to see a lot of questions on civil rights, privacy issues, separation of powers -- you know, the fundamental issues of our time. Should be an interesting first day of questions.

(Photo of the statue of Contemplation of Justice in front of the Supreme Court.)

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