Friday, January 27, 2006

The politics of breaking the law

New Poll Finds Mixed Support for Wiretaps

Americans are willing to tolerate eavesdropping without warrants to fight terrorism

I suppose, since the law and the Constitution are a bunch of words on paper, they could not be polled. And truthfully, they would probably make an excuse and hang up the phone anyway.

Perhaps, and I know this is crazy talk, the NYT could put together an article, or a roundtable discussion, or a panel on blogger ethics(TM Atrios), that reflected the opinions of actual law-talking people. Lawyers, professors, judges, that kind of thing. Perhaps, and forgive my fevered, partisan, uncivil language, that might be more useful than a public opinion poll.

The poll, conducted as President Bush defended his surveillance program in the face of criticism from Democrats and some Republicans that it is illegal, found that Americans were willing to give the administration some latitude for its surveillance program if they believed it was intended to protect them.

(Emphasis added.) Again, the law and the Constitution were not available for comment. So, again, perhaps it would be useful to ask the law-talking people who know stuff about this stuff what they think.


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