This is incredibly good news... a federal judge ruled details of the USA Patriot Act unconstitutional. It's the second such ruling in a month, the other coming in this case brought by the ACLU in NYC.
The fact that there are judges out there who are maintaining a clear sense of judicial independence and a more traditional view of certain constitutional protections (such as the protection against unreasonable search and seizure) gives me a little hope in what otherwise, too frequently, feels like an incredibly depressing and scary time in this country and our politics and policies.
The article references the alienation, felt by those in the judicial system, from the Bush Administration because of their insistence that the administration has almost unfettered constitutional authority and power. The implication in this reference is that such feelings of alienation are only going to continue to backfire on the administration as the judiciary attempts to further establish its independence by making rulings in favor of constitutional protections contrary to the administration's rulings.
That too makes me hopeful, but also more fearful. I am not certain that this alienation is anything except exactly what the current administration is hoping for. The further our judiciary distances itself from the Bushies, the more likely they are to be accused of being little more than "activist judges."
How many people out there, will believe that these are "just" activist judges, not trying to protect our long held and cherished rights, but rather just trying to write the law in a "godless and unpatriotic" way? There are far too many people out there who think nothing of the implications of the name "USA Patriot Act" except that anyone who opposes it must not be (a patriot.)
It's disgusting and terrifying. But still, I have hope...