President Bush urged Congress today to give him “additional authority” to carry out a controversial warrantless eavesdropping program directed against international terrorists and to approve “broader reforms” in the 1978 law that regulates domestic surveillance of foreign agents’ communications.
I’m not a legal scholar, but I’m fairly certain that Congress does not have the authority to override that feature of the Constitution without an amendment to the Bill of Rights. Of course, the Bush Administration has pliable courts at its disposal, so I suspect this push is only for show. The administration didn’t let the Constitution trouble it during implementation. Our do-everything-but-what-is-federal-and-important Congress isn’t likely to fight back.