Attorney Jon Eisenberg Reluctantly Drops Appeal in Wiretap Case: President Can Break the Law with No Consequences

by Peter B. Collins on January 8, 2013

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Attorney Jon Eisenberg and his legal team drop appeals, fearing Supreme Court could deliver worse ruling that would be a national precedent.Eisenberg makes the last of many appearances here to talk about the only wiretapping case that survived government opposition to win a trial court verdict against illegal wiretapping under Bush.  His article in a legal journal is here.

He explains that, following reversal by the allegedly “uber-liberal” 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, his team has decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court, fearing a worse outcome that would set a national precedent.  (As it stands, the precedent only holds in the western states of the 9th Circuit.)  The appeals court asserted “sovereign immunity” for the President even though he clearly violated the FISA law and 4th Amendment, and that the plaintiffs sued under the wrong law.

PBC asks about “judicial sleight of hand” in this and other appeals of cases under the Bill of Rights, and Eisenberg points out that the courts use secret evidence known only to judges and government lawyers, so he has no way of knowing how they reached their result.

We discuss this and other expansions of presidential power that nullify our constitutional rights, enabled by the courts, and unchallenged by Congress and the media.  He notes that throughout the 7-year legal saga, that the only national TV show to invite him on was the Colbert Report, which cancelled their invitation; and that the NY Times has not covered this decision to end appeals, even though the court victory in 2010 was front page news there.

And, he says, he did his best and he’s not bitter.

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