Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent
Upon reading about Snoopgate a judge
on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court resigned. The Chief Judge was given a briefing but wasn't permitted to tell the other ten judges about the program.
The "conventional wisdom" is that District Judge James Robertson suspected that some or all of the warrant requests were based on information from the illegal program, "fruit of a poisoned tree", which mocks the purpose of the court.
Judge J. Michael Luttig, a very conservative member of the very conservative Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, has handed the Justice Department a stinging rebuke in the ruling he wrote refusing to transfer Jose Padilla
to civilian authorities. The judge stopped just short of accusing the DoJ of lying in their testimony before the Court of Appeals.
The case now goes to the Supreme Court, and I wouldn't count on any Justice other than Clarence Thomas as a sure vote for the government. Judges don't like going out on a limb when making a decision, and the Fourth Circuit went out of its way to affirm the power of the government to indefinitely detain "enemy combatants".
The picture of Padilla painted before the Court of Appeals is in sharp contrast with the charges filed against him in a Miami court, and the timing of the indictment indicated that the DoJ did not want the case to appear on the Supreme Court docket.
Lying to judges makes them unhappy, and an unhappy judge can throw you in jail until he/she feels like releasing you. While we aren't supposed to have kings in the US, a Federal judge comes very close.
Congress and media have been slow to react to the illegal behavior by the Shrubbery, but the judicial branch seems to have been stirred to action.