Monday, January 23, 2006

Rewriting the Constitution

As Atrios points out, the standard of evidence is not required by the courts, it is required by the Constitution:
Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who led the National Security Agency when it began a program of warrantless wiretaps, vigorously defended the program today, but acknowledged that it depends on a lower standard of evidence than required by courts.

...

The standard laid out by General Hayden - a "reasonable basis to believe" - is lower than "probably cause," [sic] the standard used by the special court created by Congress to handle surveillance involving foreign intelligence.

The 4th Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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