With just 64 minutes left in its last full day in office, the Bush administration asked a San Francisco federal judge late Monday to stay enforcement of a court ruling that keeps alive a lawsuit testing whether a sitting president may bypass Congress and eavesdrop on Americans without warrants.
The Bush administration asked Walker's permission to appeal his Jan. 5 decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Walker had ruled that "sufficient facts" exist that two U.S.-based lawyers for an Islamic charity might have been spied upon for the case to proceed to the next stage.
The case seeks the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program the president approved in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The importance of this case would be difficult to overstate--its outcome may well be a deciding factor in whether Bush and his advisors are ever held accountable for their blatantly illegal activity.