Obama apologists say we don’t recognize and publicize the Administration’s successes. Herewith three of their recent wins.
1). FBI, other police agencies and their contractors don’t need a search warrant to track the locations of Americans’ cell phones, the Third Circuit ruled on Tuesday. It’s a huge precedent-setting decision.
Making a decision of so-called first impression, the Third Circuit (Alito’s old haunts) agreed with the Obama administration career bureaucrats and contractors do not need to show probable cause to obtain your location logs of where you travelled or are traveling. Probable cause has long been the standard for the government to use tracking devices. The court ruled that GPS-equivalent location information from your cell phone – although explicitly used for tracking like GPS – is not the same as actually intercepting a call. Thus, the government is entitled to access like similar administrative information readily available such as your name, etc.
The court agreed with the Obama Administration’s turning underlying statute and precedent inside out to produce distinction without difference re cell phones and Old School GPS trackers. The result is location tracking just called something else. A Roberts Court isn’t likely to take the case or reverse anyway. Besides, law enforcement are honorable professionals. 9/11 changed everything.
Go Team. (Decision here).
2). The Ninth Circuit agrees with the Obama Administration that U.S. contractors conducting renditions to possible warcrime torture in U.S. custody are immune. The court actually and specifically agreed with the Administration’s breathtaking assertion of State Secrets.
Well, obviously. It’s not like the government can be expected to produce a Lynndie England to take the fall every time. Clearly that’s an undue burden.
Can Obama and Holder pull off the elusive constitutional hat trick?
3). Yes! They! Can ! (Thanks again to the Ninth Circuit — again en banc).
Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.
They’ve been doing this for years. And so have their contractor minions. So just deal.
If you park your car in a gated community, have a fence on your driveway or otherwise are wealthy enough to wall off your driveway, no worries. The court ruled that’s a no-no. For everyone else, their trial version 4th Amendment app doesn’t apply.
Those who want the full 4th Amendment must purchase the Citizen Upgrade Pack to Amendment 4.0. Perhaps the tax cuts to the
lumpen masses ‘middle class’ [sic] will help some buy a fence or otherwise qualify for the full version. (Subject to licensing and other precedent. Warning, this offer not available yet in all states. Beg audience with your assigned FBI or other State drone for offer details and conditons. No coupons).
Holder and Obama alone draw the bright line of constitutional rights against State Power and careerist, faceless, mediocre encroachment. Obama’s an expert in constitutional law. If anyone knows expediency, it’s him.
It’s not like Holder and Obama argued in FAVOR of bureaucrats hiding behind anonymity and expanding their presumptive entitlements over the hoi polloi. None of these bureaucrats mind at all, for example, if you film *them* in public making an arrest or otherwise exercising power in um, our names. So why should you?
Obama’s base refuses to see the obvious differences here from what Fredo, Ashcroft or the current Right Wing Nuts would argue. Neophyte ingrates. Under Fredo the filings would have been signed off by someone who got their law degree from Jerry Falwell’s TV studio. Here, Obama’s got Top 10 talent.
One can only marvel at Gibbs et. al’s restraint mocking Obama’s base in the face of such accomplishments. As the Administration so rightly notes among themselves, we’re not worthy.