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Judge Resigns Over Secret Surveillance
AP ^ | 12/21/05 | GINA HOLLAND

Posted on 12/21/2005 8:37:29 AM PST by smithone

WASHINGTON - A federal judge has resigned from a special court set up to oversee government surveillance, apparently in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program on people with suspected terrorist ties.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson would not comment Wednesday on his resignation, but The Washington Post reported that it stemmed from deep concern that the surveillance program Bush authorized was legally questionable and may have tainted the work of the court. The Post quoted two associates of the judge.

An aide to Robertson said the resignation letter submitted to Chief Justice John Roberts was not being released. Robertson did not step down from his district judgeship in Washington.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan would not comment on Robertson's reported resignation or the reasons cited for his departure. "Judge Robertson did not comment on the matter and I don't see any reason why we need to," McClellan said.

Robertson was one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees government applications for secret surveillance or searches of foreigners and U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism or espionage.

The court was established by Congress in 1978 and its members, appointed by the chief justice, do their work in private.

Quoting colleagues of Robertson, the Post said the judge had indicated he was concerned that information gained from the warrantless surveillance under Bush's program subsequently could have been used to obtain warrants under the FISA program.

Robertson was appointed a federal judge by President Clinton in 1994. Chief Justice William Rehnquist later appointed Robertson to the FISA court as well.

Robertson has been critical of the Bush administration's treatment of detainees at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, most memorably in a decision that sidetracked the president's system of military tribunals to put some detainees on trial.

Robertson's resignation was reported hours after Vice President Dick Cheney strongly defended the surveillance program and called for "strong and robust" presidential powers.

Cheney — a former member of congress, defense secretary and White House chief of staff under President Ford — said executive authority has been eroding since the Watergate and Vietnam eras.

"I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it," Cheney said.

"I would argue that the actions that we've taken there are totally appropriate and consistent with the constitutional authority of the president. ... You know, it's not an accident that we haven't been hit in four years," the vice president said, speaking with reporters Tuesday on Air Force Two en route from Pakistan to Oman.

Republicans said Congress must investigate whether Bush was within the law to allow the super-secret National Security Agency to eavesdrop — without warrants — on international calls and e-mails of Americans and others inside the United States with suspected ties to al-Qaida.

"I believe the Congress — as a coequal branch of government — must immediately and expeditiously review the use of this practice," said Sen. Olympia Snowe (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine.

Snowe joined three other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, including Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel, in calling for a joint inquiry by the Senate judiciary and intelligence committees.

Bush and his top advisers have suggested senior congressional leaders vetted the program in more than a dozen highly classified briefings. Several Democrats agreed said they were told of the program, but did not know the full details and had concerns.

West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, on Monday released a letter he wrote to Cheney in July 2003 that, given the program's secrecy, he was "unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse these activities."

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., pushed back Tuesday, saying that if Rockefeller had concerns about the program, he could have used the tools he has to wield influence, such as requesting committee or legislative action. "Feigning helplessness is not one of those tools," Roberts said.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: goodriddance; hateamericafilth; hateamericatrash; hatebush; hatingamerica; jamesrobertson; patriotleak; spying; zotme; zotmeharder
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1 posted on 12/21/2005 8:37:30 AM PST by smithone
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To: smithone
You mean the same Judge Robertson who turned aside Webb Hubbell's legal troubles? Or was part of a cabal of Clinton appointees who circumvented normal procedure for assigning cases?

Later, zot-bait.

2 posted on 12/21/2005 8:38:51 AM PST by dirtboy (Drool overflowed my buffer...)
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To: smithone
Bah-Bye!
3 posted on 12/21/2005 8:39:42 AM PST by Wasanother (Terrorist come in many forms but all are RATS.)
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To: smithone

Every President since the law was enacted has used it and now this judge quits? Anyone sense political stunt here as well.


4 posted on 12/21/2005 8:39:47 AM PST by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: smithone
"I believe the Congress — as a coequal branch of government — must immediately and expeditiously review the use of this practice," said Sen. Olympia Snowe (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine."

I happen to agree with the following:

"What we really have here is a perfect illustration of why America's Founders gave the executive branch the largest measure of Constitutional authority on national security. They recognized that a committee of 535 talking heads couldn't be trusted with such grave responsibility. There is no evidence that these wiretaps violate the law. But there is lots of evidence that the Senators are 'illegally' usurping Presidential power -- and endangering the country in the process."

- Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal, 12/20/05

5 posted on 12/21/2005 8:40:16 AM PST by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war, and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: edcoil
Every President since the law was enacted has used it and now this judge quits? Anyone sense political stunt here as well

plus a book deal from Simon & Schuster.

BTW, carly simon's(big liberal hollyweird democrat) father is the "Simon" in the Simon & Schuster.

6 posted on 12/21/2005 8:43:13 AM PST by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: smithone
U.S. District Judge James Robertson would not comment Wednesday on his resignation, but The Washington Post reported that it stemmed from deep concern that the surveillance program Bush authorized was legally questionable and may have tainted the work of the court. The Post quoted two associates of the judge.

Let's hear it from the Juge himself instead of unnamed "associates". Will the Judge be appearing on the usual liberal talk show circuit?

7 posted on 12/21/2005 8:43:36 AM PST by rhombus
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To: smithone
Sounds like Clinton Appointee Judge Jimbob didn't get his way...so he quits...


8 posted on 12/21/2005 8:44:14 AM PST by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
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To: smithone

Any time a Clintonista judge resigns it's a good day.


9 posted on 12/21/2005 8:44:21 AM PST by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: smithone

10 posted on 12/21/2005 8:44:35 AM PST by Dallas59 (You love life, while we love death"( Al-Qaeda & Democratic Party)
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To: edcoil
This is a simple technique. I once had a manager I looked up to and I asked him when he was going to retire. He said "When they make me mad."

Once you know you can retire you can make any proclamation you want and walk away. This is just another cheap shot.

11 posted on 12/21/2005 8:46:08 AM PST by bigsigh
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To: smithone

What a transparent stunt by an ethically challenged political hack in a black robe. Some judicial temperment. Not. Doesn't even have the courage to say anything. Instead, "associates" feed the Compost some agitprop for the latest bash Bushfest. I only wish he'd leave the bench entirely. That said, welcome to FR smithone. Merry Christmas. May the New Year result in the further destruction of the MSM and Rat party....


12 posted on 12/21/2005 8:46:11 AM PST by eureka! (Hey Lefties and 'Rats: Over 3 more years of W. Hehehehe....)
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To: smithone

I heard about this. Another victory in the war on terror.


13 posted on 12/21/2005 8:46:33 AM PST by guido911 (cowards cut and run)
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To: smithone

I sure hope the screen door doesn't hit him in the a55....


14 posted on 12/21/2005 8:46:43 AM PST by Paloma_55 (Which part of "Common Sense" do you not understand???)
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To: smithone

Liberals only resign when forced to, so what is the real reason why this guy pulled up his stakes?


15 posted on 12/21/2005 8:46:44 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: smithone
I think that Ted Kennedy should resign in protest, too. In fact, EVERY Democrat in government should resign in protest.

That'll teach us . . .
16 posted on 12/21/2005 8:47:43 AM PST by horse_doc (b)
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To: smithone
I think that Ted Kennedy should resign in protest, too. In fact, EVERY Democrat in government should resign in protest.

That'll teach us . . .
17 posted on 12/21/2005 8:47:44 AM PST by horse_doc (b)
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To: DJ Taylor

I completely agree as well... These Senators are completely undermining Presidential power and authority.
(IBTZ???)


18 posted on 12/21/2005 8:49:52 AM PST by antceecee
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To: smithone
Robertson was appointed a federal judge by President Clinton in 1994. Chief Justice William Rehnquist later appointed Robertson to the FISA court as well.

Robertson has been critical of the Bush administration's treatment of detainees at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, most memorably in a decision that sidetracked the president's system of military tribunals to put some detainees on trial.

It took the AP long enough to get to the important facts, but I'm also surprised they were mentioned at all.

19 posted on 12/21/2005 8:50:42 AM PST by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: dirtboy

Yes, the same judge that allowed Tyson to walk away from a felony... You got it.


20 posted on 12/21/2005 8:50:57 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: smithone

Could this judge be the LEAKER and he is purposely resigning now so that he keeps his pension???

Also, if he is the leaker, this act of resignation affords him protection from the media because they will see it as going after the whistle-blower.


21 posted on 12/21/2005 8:51:27 AM PST by Kay
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To: edcoil
U.S. District Judge James Robertson was appointed by Clinton in 1994. He is a Clinton hack who is approximately 68 years old and is, in fact, really retiring. This is a big political stunt! Typical disingenuous liberal.
22 posted on 12/21/2005 8:51:30 AM PST by Obadiah
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To: smithone
The court "oversees government applications for secret surveillance or searches of foreigners and U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism or espionage."

They have been eavesdropping on international calls between U.S. Citizens and phones of Al Qaeda or suspected Al Qaeda contacts. Seems to fall right into the purvue of their job. So he must be resigning primarily because he's a liberal girly-man.

23 posted on 12/21/2005 8:51:57 AM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: smithone
Wonder if the old Judge decided to resign in protest because he heard the Justice Department might just be looking at who leaked valuable classified operations to the New York Traitorous-Times?

Interesting that anyone either implicated, mentioned or are under investigation attack President Bush so that when the misdeeds hit the MSM arm of the DNC will call it "Bush retaliation for criticizing the Administration."
24 posted on 12/21/2005 8:52:10 AM PST by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: horse_doc

What a great idea..........and definitely worth repeating.

:)


25 posted on 12/21/2005 8:52:13 AM PST by confederacy of dunces (Don't forget the cheese!)
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To: antceecee

(IBTZ???)



Why do you think as such?


26 posted on 12/21/2005 8:52:13 AM PST by deport (Merry Christmas; Feliz Navidad; Buon Natale; Joyeux Noël to one and all and Happy Holidays to.)
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To: smithone

I think all liberal judges in this country should resign in protest. :-)


27 posted on 12/21/2005 8:52:21 AM PST by plain talk
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To: smithone

Help me out here.

The FISA was/is supposedly a "secret" court.

But we now know the name and other details of one of the judges who composed the "secret" court, so his involvement, at least, is no longer a secret.

So who "outed" him? Was it illegal?


28 posted on 12/21/2005 8:53:02 AM PST by leftcoaster
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To: smithone

A bit of good news to start the day. Hopefully this idiot retires so he doesn't damage some other jurisdiction.


29 posted on 12/21/2005 8:53:17 AM PST by RinaseaofDs
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To: dirtboy

I would bet he is the New York Times' leaker.


30 posted on 12/21/2005 8:53:29 AM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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To: smithone
Robertson has been critical of the Bush administration

There you have it,

and as the old saying goes..Don't let the door hit you on your way out..

31 posted on 12/21/2005 8:54:13 AM PST by strange1 ("Show the enemy harm so he shall not advance" Sun Tzu The Art of War)
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To: Galveston Grl

Good point. If he's the leaker and they are on to him. He is bailing in hopes the heat dies down.


32 posted on 12/21/2005 8:55:12 AM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: smithone

If only 100 more would follow.


33 posted on 12/21/2005 8:55:14 AM PST by Always Right
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To: smithone
the Post said the judge had indicated he was concerned that information gained from the warrantless surveillance under Bush's program subsequently could have been used to obtain warrants under the FISA program.

So what? You get evidence that the earlier calls to Pakistan sure enough involved plans to blow up Americans and this slime ball clintoon crony says "no warrant, buddy-- you got this info improperly"

So the Judge gets to raise a political stink by quitting FISA, but you can bet he stays on as a Federal Judge. Worthless POS.

34 posted on 12/21/2005 8:56:10 AM PST by San Jacinto (Hearing something on the network news is reason enough to disbelieve it.)
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To: smithone
An aide to Robertson said the resignation letter submitted to Chief Justice John Roberts was not being released. Robertson did not step down from his district judgeship in Washington.

Not being released?

White House press secretary Scott McClellan would not comment on Robertson's reported resignation or the reasons cited for his departure. "Judge Robertson did not comment on the matter and I don't see any reason why we need to," McClellan said.

No one is commenting?

I give it a week until someone gets a copy and leaks it to the MSM.

35 posted on 12/21/2005 8:56:20 AM PST by Jigsaw John
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To: smithone

When he resigns his lifetime appointment, he just resigned from the FISA court, don't confuse the two, then it will actually mean something.

It's just a tryout for useful idiot flavor of the month. He got overturned and it pi$$ed him off.

Good riddance.


36 posted on 12/21/2005 8:58:44 AM PST by Tarpon
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: smithone

another Leftie judge resigns?

EXCELLENT!


38 posted on 12/21/2005 9:02:30 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Div. Viet Nam 69&70 Semper Fi)
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To: All
The Washington Post article is here:
Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest (James Robertson)
39 posted on 12/21/2005 9:05:48 AM PST by smithone
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To: leftcoaster

The FISA was/is supposedly a "secret" court.

But we now know the name and other details of one of the judges who composed the "secret" court, so his involvement, at least, is no longer a secret.



I don't know who the judges are but here is a section from the law.... It says 'publicly designate'..... Thus I would take that to mean they are known to the public....

[....1803. Designation of judges


Release date: 2005-03-17

(a) Court to hear applications and grant orders; record of denial; transmittal to court of review
The Chief Justice of the United States shall publicly designate 11 district court judges from seven of the United States judicial circuits of whom no fewer than 3 shall reside within 20 miles of the District of Columbia who shall constitute a court which shall have jurisdiction to hear applications for and grant orders approving electronic surveillance anywhere within the United States under the procedures set forth in this chapter, except that no judge designated under this subsection shall hear the same application for electronic surveillance under this chapter which has been denied previously by another judge designated under this subsection. If any judge so designated denies an application for an order authorizing electronic surveillance under this chapter, such judge shall provide immediately for the record a written statement of each reason of his decision and, on motion of the United States, the record shall be transmitted, under seal, to the court of review established in subsection (b) of this section. ..]

End snip

http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:fel_69b7XMgJ:www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sec_50_00001803----000-.html+fisa+court+judges&hl=en


40 posted on 12/21/2005 9:06:49 AM PST by deport (Merry Christmas; Feliz Navidad; Buon Natale; Joyeux Noël to one and all and Happy Holidays to.)
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To: smithone
Robertson was appointed a federal judge by President Clinton in 1994.

How did I know that before I read the article? I must be psychic.

41 posted on 12/21/2005 9:08:35 AM PST by Semi Civil Servant (The New York Times: Al-Qaeda's most effective spy network.)
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To: Cyberactor

Good point. And welcome to FreeRepublic.


42 posted on 12/21/2005 9:09:08 AM PST by Paradox (Time to sharpen ole Occam's Razor.)
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To: dirtboy
Good grief, why should someone be 'zot-bait' simply for posting an article drawing our attention to something? Did the poster say that he or she AGREED with the Judge?

I, for one, am glad this was posted. It brings the situation to my attention, which is why FR is here, to keep us informed.

43 posted on 12/21/2005 9:09:18 AM PST by SuziQ
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: smithone
"West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, on Monday released a letter he wrote to Cheney in July 2003 that, given the program's secrecy, he was "unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse these activities.""


Then Rockerfeller needs to resign from the Senate, as he is, by his own addmission, unable to perform those functions that he was elected for.


That would rid the Congress of one, of the probable hundred, in that body that would sell this country down the river.





45 posted on 12/21/2005 9:10:25 AM PST by G.Mason (Others have died for my freedom; now this is my mark ... Marine Corporal Jeffrey Starr, KIA 04-30-05)
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To: smithone

Does anyone else see that the Intelligence community, and most likely the CIA are trying to undermine this administration? I would be willing to bet that the CIA is actively trying to overthrow this President. They did the same thing with Nixon, and are now leaking everywhere, while hiding information that will make him look good.


46 posted on 12/21/2005 9:10:59 AM PST by jeremiah (People wake up, the water is getting hot)
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To: smithone
This guy?
47 posted on 12/21/2005 9:11:20 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: dirtboy

Bet we've found the leaker.....


48 posted on 12/21/2005 9:12:41 AM PST by O6ret
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To: Galveston Grl

I still think Rockefeller is one of the leakers.


49 posted on 12/21/2005 9:16:31 AM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: savedbygrace

I think you are right on that guess. I think we have a "vast left wing conspiracy" on our hands.


50 posted on 12/21/2005 9:20:43 AM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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