phoneU.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled March 31 that the executive branch cannot flatly ignore the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 in a fiery decision that lambasted both the Obama and Bush administrations for dishonesty in its proceedings. Walker wrote that both administrations had engaged in “intransigence” and a consistent “refusal to cooperate with the court’s orders punctuated by their unsuccessful attempts to obtain untimely appellate review.”

Obama signing“Side-stepping Senate confirmation,” declared the New York Times. “This is going to make problems worse,” exclaimed Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “What this is going to do is cause the election of a lot more Republicans ... in November who are determined to come in and provide some checks and balances in Washington to stop the overreaching of the government,” hollered Lamar Alexander, (R-Tenn.).

Judge James Robertson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered on March 22 that Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a native of Mauritania, be released from the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Minuteman statue at ConcordThe Massachusetts Judicial Council ruled on March 10 that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not apply to state governments and, consequently, the State of Massachusetts can regulate firearms in that state. The language of the Second Amendment states: "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

A San Francisco federal appeals court ruled that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” on American money are constitutional. In the explanation for the majority ruling, Judge Carlos Bea wrote, “The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our Republic was founded.”

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