The NSA Rulings: Which Judge Is Right?

In the span of ten days, two federal district court judges have issued diametrically opposed rulings on the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program.  One judge said the program is almost certainly unconstitutional, while the other judge said it is perfectly constitutional. 

Which judge is right and which is wrong?  The real world answer to that question, which may displease many people, is that the judge whose ruling the United States Supreme Court ultimately agrees with is right.  Andrew Cohen, writing over at The Atlantic, put it this way in his article:

That two judges would hold such contrasting worldviews is either alarming (if you believe the law can be evenly applied) or comforting (if you believe that each individual judge ought to be free to express his conscience). In any event, taken together, the two opinions say a lot about nature of legal analysis. The judge who gets overturned on appeal here won’t necessarily be wrong—he’ll just not have the votes on appeal supporting his particular view of the law and the facts. In the end, you see, there is no central truth in these great constitutional cases that rest at the core of government authority; there is just the exercise of judicial power.

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting post gathering competing views on this hot topic. 

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