Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The consensus against the spying grows

14 prominent law professors and former government lawyers, including Lawrence Tribe and Richard Epstein, write to Congress that the spying was illegal, and the justifications offered for it are an unconstitutional stretch of executive power:

Although the program’s secrecy prevents us from being privy to all of its details, the Justice Department’s defense of what it concedes was secret and warrantless electronic surveillance of persons within the United States fails to identify any plausible legal authority for such surveillance. Accordingly the program appears on its face to violate existing law.
Let your congresscritters know that you want serious oversight of this, and real action to prevent the executive from seizing arbitrary powers over our lives.

Update: There's a longer version of the letter here.