“A judicial misfire”

That’s what the Washington Post editorial board calls yesterday’s district court decision striking down the NSA intercept program. The editors believe that “[t]he nation would benefit from a serious, scholarly and hard-hitting judicial examination of the National Security Agency’s program of warrantless surveillance.” But they find that “the decision yesterday. . .is neither careful nor scholarly, and it is hard-hitting only in the sense that a bludgeon is hard-hitting.”

UPDATE: By contrast, the New York Times editorial board finds Judge Taylor’s opinion “careful” and “thoroughly grounded.” The Times parts company not only with the Post, but with distinguished law professors like Orin Kerr and Jack Balkin, who consider the intercept program unlawful. Indeed, even this Daily Kos diarist finds the judge’s reasoning “weak in a variety of ways.”

Still, one can make the case that the opinion is careful and well-grounded compared to the analysis the Times’ editors typically provide these days.

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