As the saga of the only surviving case against illegal wiretaps hits a wall, Jon Eisenberg returns with the update; Shahid Buttar of BORDC joins us to talk about a range of issues related to our Constitutional rights. Eisenberg represents the attorneys for the defunct al-Haramain Islamic nonprofit, who proved they were illegally wiretapped, and won a verdict in federal court. This week, a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco unanimously overturned the verdict, using an issue that the same appeals court heard in 2007: that the FISA law does not explicitly state that one can sue the government. Eisenberg explains “sovereign immunity”, and how this decision renders the original FISA law meaningless–FISA was enacted after Watergate to prevent the government from illegally wiretapping. In extremely candid comments, Eisenberg explains his options to appeal, and that he is considering dropping further appeals considering the long odds before the full 9th Circuit or at the Supreme Court. Since the courts and Congress fail to properly challenge the executive branch, it appears our political leaders don’t care about the 4th Amendment or the police state they have enabled.
At 33 minutes into the podcast, Buttar returns. He comments on the wiretap case, then on the successful mobilization in San Francisco that caused Mayor Ed Lee to drop his proposed stop and frisk law–Buttar details the widespread violations of rights in New York under their stop and frisk program. He urges support for ERPA, the End Racial Profiling Act; for the Justice Act, which would correct some of the extreme elements of the Patriot Act; and for efforts to block the onerous detention policies of the NDAA.