Skip to comments.Judge: AIPAC charges may be based on unconstitutional law
Posted on 03/26/2006 10:29:49 AM PST by Sabramerican
Judge: AIPAC charges may be based on unconstitutional law
WASHINGTON - A federal judge on Friday questioned the constitutionality of a law under which two former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have been charged with receiving and disclosing national defense information to reporters and foreign diplomats.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis said at the pretrial hearing for Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman that the law, enacted in 1917, may be unconstitutionally broad and vague.
The law's defects are exacerbated because they infringe on the defendants' constitutional rights to lobby the government and because prosecutors are seeking to criminalize conduct that is integral to Washington politics - namely, leaks of classified information.
The law has rarely been used, and has never before been applied to lobbyists. Ellis said the case has moved into "new, uncharted waters," and that the defense's request for dismissal must be reviewed with strict scrutiny because of the potential impact on First Amendment rights.
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretzdaily.com ...
I should start charging for my analysis/predictions.
I'm shocked. Truely shocked.
Aren't you getting paid for posting here alreacy? I am!
Even the Washington Post which always editorializes against Israel- and takes a shot at Israel here too- sees this as a dangerous infringement on Free Speech.
So now spying on the U.S. in unconstitutional. God help us.
Oh come on dad, everyone at school does it. Why can't I ?
For people who understand the issue, this is a more serious Free Speech concern then McCain-Feingold.
Think the discussion here will mirror that concern?
Perhaps, but only if posters type some legible and literate sentences.
No one was accused of spying. The accusation was that 2 individuals, having refused to look at documents, heard "classified" information and passed it on to unauthorized individuals. To unauthorized individuals Israeli Embassy and to unauthorized individuals Washington Post. But only after their first call, to unauthorized individuals at the White House.
An interesting case, but the "rule" has to be applied equally, if it's to be applied at all, which will criminalize much of what goes on in the media and in government.
This judge is a Reagan appointee. See:
Who was this judge appointed by? ?One of the activist judges the libTards have systematically installed over the last decades for just such rulings?
"will criminalize"? - or will hold to account for breaking the law and leaking classified info? Isn't it already a crime?
not good =- anyone got bio on him - real one?
For government employees. Or transmitting or possessing documents, even in your socks. Transmitting verbal information for non-employees, perhaps, this prosecution will determine that. My only point is that if it's criminal, it needs to be prosecuted uniformly. That's never been the case, perhaps it will in the future. Look to seeing indictments of many in both the media and government. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but it's going to be quite a circus because it will change the way our nation operates.
Lack of enforcement is not a good argument here, especially since it is very hard to prove that a citizen without a security clearance knew information was classified.
Usually the gov't is more interested in the original leaker. It's hard to make the case that the middleman is a threat to national security and an even harder case for the newspapers because if the WaPo won't publish it, they'll shop it to the NYT and so on.
But thanks to Fitz, these guys won't be able to argue selective enforcement.
I'm not arguing for no enforcement. Leaving government employees out since that's covered under different legislation, proving possession is easy, if the media, or anyone else, discloses classified information, that's a defacto admission. My guess, if these cases were actually prosecuted, the result would be a shifting of the burden of proof to the accused.
If this case proceeds, the amicus briefs will be voluminus, every media and lobbying group in the country will have their 2 cents.
If we're going to prosecute this, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, we probably need new legislation.