Here’s another cynical decision to bypass the legislative branch of our republican government design, this time by DoJ. Given the behavior of the Obama administration, though, this attitude is unsurprising.
A Federal judge in a New York drug case has ruled that Apple cannot be forced by the government to help crack a cell phone held by prosecutors and claimed by those prosecutors to have critical, if encrypted, information.
The judge wrote, in part,
How best to balance those interests [between privacy and security] is a matter of critical importance to our society, and the need for an answer becomes more pressing daily, as the tide of technological advance flows ever farther past the boundaries of what seemed possible even a few decades ago. But that debate must happen today, and it must take place among legislators who are equipped to consider the technological and cultural realities of a world their predecessors could not begin to conceive.
Indeed. That balance, where to draw the line, and how is a political decision, to be determined solely by us citizens through our elected representatives in Congress. Political decisions cannot be reached by judges; their role is strictly limited by our Constitution to determining the constitutionality of a law and if constitutional to applying it as written. Judges can not, may not, adjust a law to suit the government’s wishes.
Nevertheless, Justice will stay within the judicial system. A carefully unnamed (at least by the AP, whose article is at the link above) insisted on this:
We are disappointed in the Magistrate’s ruling and plan to ask the District Judge to review the matter in the coming days…. This phone may contain evidence that will assist us in an active criminal investigation and we will continue to use the judicial system in our attempt to obtain it.
We will continue to use the judicial system…. DoJ will continue deliberately to bypass Congress. DoJ will continue to seek to impose its own political will on us.