A federal judge in New York City ruled on Friday that the so-called "Obama spy program" is constitutional despite the Fourth Amendment's protection of Americans against unlawful search and seizure, according to several national news reports.
Ruling in the lawsuit filed against the National Security Agency by the American Civil Liberties Union -- ACLU v. Clapper, (13-cv-3994) -- Judge William Pauley of the Southern District of New York found that the National Security Agency's ("NSA") program that spies on over 300 million Americans is allowed under the U.S. Constitution.
According to a legal watchdog group's lead attorney, Judge Pauley claims the Obama-NSA intelligence gathering program is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and that "[t]his blunt tool only works because it collects everything."
Pauley's decision contradicts that of Judge Richard Leon of the District Court for the District of Columbia -- Klayman v. Obama (13-cv-881) -- who ruled on Dec. 16, 2013, that the NSA's spy program violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Judge Leon characterized the intelligence program as being "almost Orwellian."
"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for the purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval," said Judge Leon.
That successful ruling was the result of a lawsuit filed against President Barack Obama by Larry Klayman, former prosecutor for the U.S. Justice Department, founder of Judicial Watch and now chairman and general counsel of Freedom Watch.
However, Judge Pauley's ruling is evidence that this important issue must be decided by the highest court in the land, according to attorney and political strategist Mike Baker.
"It's obvious that the Judicial Branch is the only one that can save Americans' freedoms including those protected by the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and other Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. If the courts go along with the political radicalism of this administration and the majority of U.S. Senators, then Americans are stuck fending for themselves," said Baker.
In responding to Judge Pauley's decision, Klayman said, "Judge Pauley rules that the American people have no rights regarding the government and should be kept in the dark. His decision was obviously political and not based on the U.S. Constitution and the law."
"This leftist judge rules that the government should control and rule over our entire lives. His decision empowers the government to keep secrets to itself and that the so-called monitoring – which has been proved nonexistent – by the Obama Justice Department and a dysfunctional and compromised Congress is sufficient to protect the American people," stated Klayman after hearing Pauley's court decision.
Klayman and Freedom Watch point out that Pauley is a Democrat appointed by President Bill Clinton -- who had his own spy program, according to an Examiner news story -- and his decision and ruling create the appearance that he is currying favor with another Democrat president, Barack Obama, in the hopes of securing an even higher position within the federal judiciary.
Unlike Judge Pauley, who is a Clinton appointee, Leon is a Bush appointee who's served on the federal bench since 2002.
"Our President asked Americans over the holidays to sit around their dinner tables and discuss Obamacare and its 'benefits.' I believe Americans should sit around their dinner tables and discuss how their civil liberties and constitutional rights are being trampled on by this White House, this Congress and unelected lawyers wearing black robes," said former police commander and military intelligence officer Michael Snopes.
Even Secretary of State John Kerry has reservations about Obama's spy operations, Responding to increased questioning by major news organizations, Secretary Kerry admitted that at times the technological surveillance by the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA) "have reached too far."
In a Friday press statement released after Judge Pauley's decision, Klayman said:
"Unfortunately, the current government no longer represents the people of this country. Judge Pauley rubber-stamped total government power. The reality is that the legislative and executive branches of government created this constitutional crisis with the NSA which is now spiraling out of control. To the contrary, Judge Leon correctly ruled that the NSA's program is 'almost-Orwellian technology'.
"Legitimate spying on terrorism does not trump respecting the civil liberties and freedoms of the American people, as Judge Pauley ruled on page 52 of his decision. The rights of the people consistent with our U.S. Constitution cannot be left at the tyrannical hands of the other two branches.
"Pauley, having run interference for President Obama and his enablers in Congress and putting the freedoms of the American people second to government power, in effect endorses tyranny that will keep the American people from criticizing their government for fear that if they do so they will be smeared with their most private information by Obama's NSA."