Wiretap Judge Conflict of Interest?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.judicialwatch.org/printer_5862.shtml

    U.S. District Judge Who Presided Over Government Wiretapping Case May Have Had Conflict of Interest



    (Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and judicial abuse, announced today that Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who last week ruled the government’s warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional, serves as a Secretary and Trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case (ACLU et. al v. National Security Agency). Judicial Watch discovered the potential conflict of interest after reviewing Judge Diggs Taylor’s financial disclosure statements.

    According to her 2003 and 2004 financial disclosure statements, Judge Diggs Taylor served as Secretary and Trustee for the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan (CFSEM). She was reelected to this position in June 2005. The official CFSEM website states that the foundation made a “recent grant” of $45,000 over two years to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, a plaintiff in the wiretapping case. Judge Diggs Taylor sided with the ACLU of Michigan in her recent decision.

    According to the CFSEM website, “The Foundation’s trustees make all funding decisions at meetings held on a quarterly basis.”

    “This potential conflict of interest merits serious investigation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “If Judge Diggs Taylor failed to disclose this link to a plaintiff in a case before her court, it would certainly call into question her judgment.”

    (Judge Diggs Taylor is also the presiding judge in another case where she may have a conflict of interest. The Arab Community Center for Social and Economic Services (ACCESS) is a defendant in another case now before Judge Diggs Taylor’s court [Case No. 06-10968 (Mich. E.D.)]. In 2003, the CFSEM donated $180,000 to ACCESS.)
     
  2. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Yep

    Definitely a conflict of interest . . . I don't know that the conflict was as bad as her bad legal reasoning . . . but, that is for others to decide . . .
     
  3. The Galatian

    The Galatian
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    Besides, she swore to uphold the Constitution. That definitely biased her against illegal wiretaps.
     
  4. El_Guero

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    Certainly upholding the Constitution would keep her from illegal money and lead her to uphold legal wiretapping . . .

    But, those sticky fingers get in the way . . .
     
  5. Daisy

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    Illegal money? Sticky fingers?

    Do you understand what the issue here is?
     
  6. carpro

    carpro
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    She'll be overturned precisely because she ignored the Constitution.



    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/19/washington/19ruling.html?ex=1313640000&en=5f8f4ba4ca8ad621&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

    Experts Fault Reasoning in Surveillance Decision
    By ADAM LIPTAK

    Published: August 19, 2006

    EXCERPT

    Even legal experts who agreed with a federal judge’s conclusion on Thursday that a National Security Agency surveillance program is unlawful were distancing themselves from the decision’s reasoning and rhetoric yesterday.

    Discomfort with the quality of the decision is almost universal, said Howard J. Bashman, a Pennsylvania lawyer whose Web log provides comprehensive and nonpartisan reports on legal developments.

    “It does appear,” Mr. Bashman said, “that folks on all sides of the spectrum, both those who support it and those who oppose it, say the decision is not strongly grounded in legal authority.”
     
  7. El_Guero

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    I said what I meant. If your judge is upholding the Constitution, you should not be worried about her, illegal money, sticky fingers, or conflict of interest.

    Or do you disagree with the responsibilities of all Americans to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land? Do you disagree with the responsibility of all Americans to protect this country from enemies foreign and domestic?

    I agree with the responsibility of all Americans to protect this country from enemies foreign and domestic, especially judges.

     
  8. Daisy

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    Who is it you're accusing of having "sticky fingers" and what illegal money are you talking about?

    She ought to have disclosed her relationship, such as it is, with the plaintiff.

    That is what this case is about - the 4th Amendment & whether Bush's warrantless taps on American citizens violates it.

    And overstepping presidents?
     
  9. The Galatian

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    Turns out that wiretaps without a warrant are illegal. That's not controversial. The Supreme Court settled that long ago. Even Bush said that he would not do it, unless the secret court set up to authorize such things quickly, gave him a warrant.

    He was lying, as usual.

    His lawyers didn't even bother to deny that it violated the law; they merely argued that "national security" required that it be done.

    So did Nixon.
     
  10. carpro

    carpro
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    Not really. They argued that he had the statutory and Constitutional authority to do so. The FISA appeals court agreed.

    The Supreme Court has not ruled on this particular matter. The only time they came close, they ruled in favor of the President's Constitutional authority to protect the nation in time of war.
     
  11. StraightAndNarrow

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    So, I would assume that every judge associated with the ACLJ should reveal that and should be recussed from abortion cases, right. Let's start with the Supreme Court. OK?
     
  12. The Galatian

    The Galatian
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    That's Different!
     
  13. carpro

    carpro
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    Ok, Let's do.

    Who are the Supreme Court Justices that are "associated" with ACLJ?

    (By "associated", I assume you mean has either received or donated funds to ACLJ.)

    Then you can cite the cases that the ACLJ has argued before the Supreme Court while those "associated" judges were hearing the case.

    Get started. I'll be waiting.:thumbs:
     

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