[Ppnews] CCR v Bush

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 18 15:11:11 EST 2006


January 17, 2006

Michael Avery, President, 617-335-5023
Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, 212-679-5100, ext. 11


The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) will be providing legal counsel to 
the Center for Constitutional Rights and its attorneys in a suit to 
enjoin President Bush from engaging in illegal electronic 
surveillance without court orders.  Michael Avery, President of the 
NLG, will be handling the case on behalf of the Guild and working 
with lawyers from the Center itself.  Avery is a constitutional law 
professor at Suffolk Law School in Boston.

NLG President Michael Avery stated, "The president has no power under 
the Constitution to conduct electronic surveillance without a 
warrant.  His claim that his role as commander in chief of the 
military gives him this power is an attempt to create an imperial 
presidency, in which the president is not subject to checks and 
balances by either the judiciary or by Congress.  President Bush's 
actions are a threat to the continued existence of American 
constitutional democracy."

The Lawyers Guild noted that the suit is based on the fact that the 
Fourth Amendment forbids searches and electronic surveillance without 
a court order, and that Congress has explicitly provided that the 
only legal way to conduct electronic surveillance in national 
security cases is with a court order from the Foreign Intelligence 
Surveillance Court or through ordinary criminal channels with a 
warrant from a United States District Court.  The only exceptions to 
this requirement do not apply to the surveillance the president has 
authorized.  Congress has made the surveillance that the president is 
conducting a criminal offense, a felony punishable by a five-year prison term.

The Executive Director of the Guild, Heidi Boghosian, noted, "The 
Center for Constitutional Rights has played an essential role in 
providing legal assistance for victims of the president's abuses of 
power, such as the prisoners at Guantanamo and others.  The Guild is 
proud to provide our lawyers to the Center to help them halt the 
illegal electronic surveillance that is making it difficult for them 
to carry on their important work."

Founded in 1937 as the first racially integrated national bar 
association, the National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest 
public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States, 
with more than 200 chapters. The Guild has a long history of 
representing individuals whose rights the government has violated by 
abusing its powers in the name of national security. Guild members 
defended FBI-targeted individuals and helped expose illegal FBI and 
CIA surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics (COINTELPRO) 
that the U.S. Senate "Church Commission" hearings detailed in 1975-76 
and which led to enactment of the Freedom of Information Act and 
other specific limitations on federal investigative power.

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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