"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Separation of Powers - It's Not Just a Good Idea; It's the Law! 

Matt Yglesias says what I've been thinking for a couple of days but never got around to writing down:
[T]alk of changing the burden of proof from "probable cause" to "reasonable basis" is largely a red herring. The important thing that changed was that the NSA shifted from a position where they needed to convince a judge that they had probable cause to one where they had to decide for themselves that they had a reasonable basis for initiating some wiretapping. There's a world of difference between a self-enforced standard and an externally-enforced one.

 

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