Thursday, February 16, 2006
Van Os to Abbott: Will you go to court to protect Texans against lawless federal wiretapping?
Dear Mr. Abbott:
The Bush administration's contention that the chief executive of the United States possesses the authority to decide unilaterally what the laws and Constitution mean without subjection to the checks and balances of other branches of government is alarming, to say the least. I've listened to and read the arguments offered by Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to justify the federal government's admitted warrantless wiretapping of personal and private telephone communications of American citizens. To me as a lawyer sworn to defend the Constitution, who has dealt with many issues of Constitutional law in my career, Gonzales' arguments don't hold water.
Since you recently declared in one of your press releases that you support the fundamental right of personal privacy with respect to telephone communications, I assume that you view the federal government's warrantless eavesdropping the same way I do. Do you indeed? Do you agree with my view that Attorney General Gonzales' arguments are legally and constitutionally insupportable? Why or why not? I think this is a matter where the people of Texas have a right to know your views. They have a right to know if their elected attorney general views such important issues the same way Alberto Gonzales and George Bush do, or if he will stand by their fundamental rights to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into their personal phone calls.
Further, will you utilize the powers of your office on behalf of the Constitutional rights of the people of Texas, and file the lawsuits to protect Texans against lawless federal wiretapping, which individual Texans do not have the means to pursue on their own? Today, I challenge you to fulfill your oath of office to the people of Texas and file those lawsuits now. The people will be waiting.
posted by snarko! at 2:57 PM
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