Vanderbilt Law School Dropout Albert A. Gore Jr., accused President Bush of breaking the law when, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the president authorized wiretapping on international phone calls of terrorist suspects.
Before making another wild accusation against the man who defeated him in the 2000 presidential election, Gore should perhaps have consulted individuals who, unlike him, actually graduated from law school and studied the laws in question. Over at Powerline, one such attorney, John Hinderaker, analyzed the president’s program and surveyed the applicable law and found “under the Constitution and all controlling precedents, the NSA intercept program is legal.” In his update to that post, he provides a link to the Justice Department rationale upon which President Bush relied. (Unlike Mr. Gore, those who wrote that opinion graduated from law school.)
And it’s not just a conservative attorney like Mr. Hinderaker who has found the president’s program to be legal. As we have reported before, John Schmidt, associate attorney general in the Clinton Administration, in which Mr. Gore also served (but in a different capacity) found that the president had the legal authority to OK the wiretaps. Another left-of-center attorney to sign off on the president’s plan was Cass Sunstein, one of the nation’s most respected constitutional scholars.
Before accusing his erstwhile adversary of breaking the law, this disgruntled Democrat should have consulted with those who actually graduated from law school. And perhaps he should also consult with graduates of another type of professional school so he might finally get over his loss to President Bush now over five years ago.
UPDATE: Back in the day when he was working for Bill Clinton, Gore didn’t claim that his boss and his appointees were violating the law when they defended similar eavesdropping. Gateway Pundit provides comments supporting such programs from law school graduates. (Via: Glenn (who thinks I’m a meanie).)