Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act scrutiny

FISA is a classic example of a law congress never should have passed.

I’d like to inform our student body about some of my problems with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

First, FISA obstructs the authority and power of the president.

The authority to do that is vested in the states via the amendment process. No valid law can duplicate that.

Second, FISA obstructs the authority and power of the U.S. Supreme Court. It creates a separate court that the Supreme Court has no sovereignty over.

Third, FISA is an abuse of the legislative authority and power of Congress.

Congress does not have the authority to create de facto constitutional amendments via the instruments of the United States Supreme Court, federal law or other laws.

Fourth, FISA obstructs the authority of the states to amend the Constitution via amendment.

This was an integral concept to our founding fathers.

Fifth, FISA “warrants” are not warrants. They are court orders.

The Fourth Amendment protections do not apply. This means that FISA violates the constitutional requirement to due process.

Sixth, the FISA court orders are retroactive. They expose federal intelligence agents to the risk of being criminals by committing criminal acts of surveillance.

These agents are asked to conduct investigations first, and determine if they are legal later.

What is surprising is that FISA defines evidence collected to be unusable for criminal investigations and yet still expose intelligence officers to indictment.

Seventh, the FISA court orders, by being retroactive, also taint evidence. All evidence gained by FISA wiretap is ineligible for use in criminal cases (unless it’s used against federal intelligence agents).

FISA allows?agents of a foreign power who are American citizens (such as Jose Padilla) to be virtually immune to criminal prosecution under the fourth constitutional definition of ex post facto law.

Eighth, the FISA court is poorly written. It doesn’t clearly define if a cell phone call that originates in Pakistan to a citizen in the United States is clearly a call occurring within the United States.

FISA should have been an amendment. It should have clearly defined terms.

It should have not created a court that supersedes Supreme Court and presidential authority, reports on executive, court and vital national security issues to congressmen, evades due process, taints evidence, slows down vital national security efforts and creates chaos. FISA is a classic example of a law congress should never have passed.

? Todd Meitzel is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]