“The important point is that it increasingly looks [like] the widespread outcry about this was just sound and fury signifying absolutely nothing,” said Simon Lazarus, one of the two [Constitutional Accountability Center] attorneys who publicized the study. “They came back reporting that there are no violations of the APA here,” Lazarus said. “It’s pretty stark when you look at the conclusions.”
CAC In the News
Now, three months after the party-line House vote to green-light the lawsuit, no complaint has yet been filed. If this stretched out delay means that Boehner has actually redirected his sue-Obama gambit toward oblivion, the reason may be this unnoticed six week old CRS report.
The “odd couple” pairing of the two groups — similar to Ted Olson and David Boies’ leadership in fighting California’s Proposition 8 and Virginia’s similar ban — is not new. They’ve filed joint briefs opposing the bans in most of the recent marriage challenge appeals, including in the Prop 8 case. In Friday’s filing, however, they made two new arguments — both of which could have an impact beyond the marriage landscape.
"The ... decisions seem to be setting the court up to issue earth-shaking rulings on voting rights, abortion and marriage equality in the heat of the next presidential election season," says Doug Kendall, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center. "In the name of prudence, the court is arranging to put itself at the center of the 2016 political maelstrom."
Legal scholars and courts have been wrangling for more than a year over whether the National Security Agency's collection of millions of Americans' phone records — a program first disclosed to the public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 — violates those protections. Some legal experts disagree over whether the record collection even qualifies as a search or seizure, and, if it does, whether collecting those records is "unreasonable" or requires a warrant. In a recent Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, two teams of constitutional law experts, including CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra, faced off on the motion "Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates The Fourth Amendment." In these Oxford-style debates, the team that sways the most people to its side by the end is the winner.