A US judge halted warrantless wiretapping by the National Security Agency and ruled that President George W. Bush overstepped his authority when authorizing the unconstitutional program. Federal Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ordered a permanent injunction barring the Terrorist Surveillance Program, which has been used to monitor millions of US citizens. ‘It was never the intent of the (Constitutional) framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly when his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights,’ Taylor wrote in a 43-page opinion. The ruling was immediately appealed by the NSA and the injunction was temporarily stayed ahead of an appeals court ruling. The decision was a significant blow to Bush’s attempts to expand presidential powers in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11. It comes just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the Bush administration overstepped its authority in setting up military tribunals to try war on terror detainees held at a US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ‘It’s pretty sweeping,’ said Robert Bennett, a professor at Northwestern University’s law school, noting that the ruling went beyond faulting the administration for violating Congressional rules on wiretapping. […]

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