ACROSS THE NATION
over domestic surveillance
compiled from Tribune news services
January 18, 2006
YORK -- Two lawsuits were filed Tuesday in
federal court that seek to end President Bush's electronic eavesdropping
program, saying it is illegal and exceeds his constitutional powers.
The lawsuits--one filed in New York by
the Center for Constitutional Rights and the other in Detroit by the American Civil Liberties
Union and other groups--say the program bypasses safeguards in a 1978 law
requiring court approval of electronic monitoring.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents hundreds of men
held as enemy combatants at Guantanamo
must now audit old communications to determine whether "anything was
disclosed that might undermine our representation of our clients,"
said Bill Goodman, the center's legal director.
lawsuit said the program has impaired plaintiffs' ability to gather
information from sources abroad.
A spokesman for the Justice Department disputed the lawsuits' assertions.
"We believe these cases are without merit and plan to vigorously
defend against the charges," Brian Roehrkasse
© 2006, Chicago Tribune