Once again, Richard Leon isn’t buying what the government has been trying to sell him in the war on terror.
In December, the U.S. district court judge in Washington, D.C., made headlines when he was the first federal judge to hold that the National Security Agency’s telephonic data surveillance program was likely unconstitutional. The decision made Leon, a George W. Bush appointee, a hero to progressives and libertarians alike and earned him praise from the likes of fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden and senators such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and criticized by intelligence hawks such as Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Michael Mukasey, the former Bush attorney general. It also placed more pressure on the White House to dramatically scale back the program, something the president has so far resisted.
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