The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent a pretty clear signal today that Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's decision about the constitutionality of the governments surveillance program will be overturned. The appeals court ruled the program can continue to operate pending the completion of the appeal, staying judge Taylor's order to cease the program.
The unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave little explanation for the decision. In the three-paragraph ruling, judges said that they balanced the likelihood an appeal would succeed, the potential damage to both sides and the public interest.
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit ruled Aug. 17 that the program was unconstitutional because it violates the rights to free speech and privacy and the separation of powers in the Constitution.
The Justice Department had urged the appeals court to allow it to keep the program in place while it argues its appeal, claiming that the nation faced "potential irreparable harm." The appeal is likely to take months.
"The country will be more vulnerable to a terrorist attack," the government motion said.
The program monitors international phone calls and e-mails to or from the United States involving people the government suspects have terrorist links. A secret court has been set up to grant warrants for such surveillance, but the government says it can't always wait for a court to take action.
Considering how badly judge Taylor's ruling was received by just about everyone because of its horribly twisted reasoning, this is no surprise to anyone. When even the Washington Post and the New York Times could not get behind what she wrote, it was a lost cause. Expect a long-winded gasket blow from all the usual suspects, however.