Tuesday, December 20, 2005

COM: Whoa! Breaking Now . . .

Spy court judge quits in protest
Jurist worried that Bush order tainted work of secret panel
By Carol D. Leonnig and Dafna Linzer, The Washington Post via MSNBC, Updated: 11:21 p.m. ET Dec. 20, 2005

A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John D. Roberts Jr. late Monday notifying him of his resignation without providing an explanation.

Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable and may have tainted the FISA court's work.

Robertson, who was appointed to the federal bench in Washington by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and was later selected by then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve on the FISA court, declined to comment when reached at his office late yesterday.

The rest of the story is here.

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