During the 4pm EDT hour of "The Situation Room," CNN’s Jack Cafferty had a thing or two to say about a U.S. district court judge ruling the National Security Agency’s terrorist surveillance program as unconstitutional. Cafferty attacked the "arrogant" Bush administration for its supposed "abuse of power" and accused the President of lying to the American people and violating his oath of office:
Jack Cafferty: "So what does this mean? It means President Bush violated his oath of office, among other things, when he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It means he’s been lying to us about the program since it started, when he’s been telling us there’s nothing illegal about what he’s doing."
Interestingly, just minutes before Cafferty applauded the court ruling and judge Anna Diggs Taylor, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin acknowledged the liberal leanings of the district court judge and made the point that this issue will not be settled until it is considered by the Supreme Court:
Jeffrey Toobin: "This judge, today’s opinion, said it was unconstitutional in very scathing terms. But this was a very liberal judge. You look at the–the sources she cites in her opinion, she almost exclusively cites other liberal judges. I am virtually certain that other courts will see this differently, and the only way to resolve those sorts of differences is to have it wind up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court."
The full transcript of Cafferty’s rant follows:
Cafferty: "Wolf, you know, it seems like we’re having this discussion about this judge’s ruling, sort of, in the abstract, as though there’s no precedent for what the judge decided. The judge, in effect, upheld the ruling of the FISA court, which says, if you want to wiretap phones, you need a warrant to do so. The court was created by Congress in 1978, I think it was, and the law of the land says, get a warrant. The actions of the administration have ignored the law of the land in that regard. So it’s not a discussion in the abstract. It’s not hypothetical. There are laws on the books against what the administration is doing and it’s about time somebody said it out loud. This federal district judge ruled today President Bush is breaking the law by spying on people in this country without a warrant. The judge said the President is violating the first amendment to the constitution, the fourth amendment to the constitution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA, passed by Congress, 1978, specifically to prevent this kind of abuse of power. It was being done before. That’s why the FISA court was created in the first place. So what does this mean? It means President Bush violated his oath of office, among other things, when he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It means he’s been lying to us about the program since it started, when he’s been telling us there’s nothing illegal about what he’s doing. A court has ruled it is illegal. And it means a 75-year-old black female judge in Michigan has finally stepped in and done the job that Congress is supposed to do, namely oversight of the executive branch of government. But the government–the Congress is controlled by the Republicans and they are controlled by the President and they have done nothing in the way of oversight. I hope it means the arrogant inner circle at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue may finally have to start answering to the people who own that address, that would be us, about how they conduct our country’s affairs. But we want to know what you think. Here’s the question: What does a federal judge’s ruling that the NSA spying program is illegal mean for President Bush? E-mail your thoughts to CaffertyFile@CNN.com or go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile. Wolf?"