A federal judge in the nation’s capital made clear Wednesday he would like to order the Obama administration to end its dragnet collection of U.S. call records as soon as possible.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, in fact, outlined for anti-surveillance attorney Larry Klayman how to hasten the process. When the attorney quibbled about specifics during a status hearing, Leon repeated himself emphatically, saying he believes the constitutional rights of millions of citizens are being violated.
“I’m prepared to lift the stay I issued,” Leon said, referring to the hold he placed on a preliminary injunction against the collection he issued to Klayman in December 2013. “It’s time to move, let’s get going.”
The judge outlined two specific things Klayman can do to make him able to rule more quickly.
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First, Leon said, Klayman can file a motion requesting that the appeals court panel, which on Friday said Klayman cannot prove Verizon Wireless records were affected, expedite the return of jurisdiction over the matter to District Court.
Klayman said he will file such a motion on Thursday. The delay in return of jurisdiction is to allow time to appeal decisions to a higher court. In the meantime, Leon said, his ability to act is constrained.
Separately, Leon said, Klayman can ask his permission to amend the case to add a plaintiff who is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was named in a leaked document the government acknowledges is valid. Government attorneys refuse to acknowledge in court that any other provider is affected by the phone dragnet.
Klayman plans to do that, too, but he hasn’t announced the identity of the person or entity he will seek to add to the case.
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Amending the complaint would allow Leon to sidestep a legal brawl over discovery into whether Verizon Wireless is affected by the dragnet, as both he and Klayman suspect. Sidestepping that matter could allow Leon to order the cessation of collection before the program expires in late November pursuant to reforms in the USA Freedom Act.
“The window is very small in the view of law,” he said. “You need to be thinking about the fastest, most expeditious” way to move the case, he told Klayman. “I didn’t think it would take so long to get back here.”
With a knowing look, the judge cut off Klayman when he was about to share his explanation for why it took nearly two years for the appeals panel to rule. Klayman told U.S. News last week he believes the appeals panel was “kissing the behinds – the derrieres – of the people in the Washington, D.C., establishment who got them their jobs."
No way. Lawyers are ass kissers?
It sounds to me like this judge has had about all the foot dragging he is going to tolerate and there better be some Olympic quality Hoop Jumping going on pronto.
But, as Hillary Clinton is now famous as saying, What difference does it make now?
The NSA could care less what this or any other judge has to say, they have the bit in their teeth and are going to do whatever the hell they want in the name of "National Security", the Constitution and anyone who doesn't like it be damned.
It's all Kabuki Theater at this point.