Roger Vinson, the same federal judge who ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional in 2011, signed an order that compels Verizon to give the National Security Agency information on all telephone calls in its system.
The Verizon order was revealed Wednesday night in a report from The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald. It requires Verizon to produce “certain call detail records or ‘telephony metadata'” created by the company. The report has already sparked concern and outrage from people questioning the federal government’s surveillance powers.
Here, side by side, are the Obamacare ruling and the Verizon order, courtesy of Twitter user @nycsouthpaw:
Funny how things work out: The Tea Party hero who struck down Obamacare also authorised the NSA Verizon warrant. twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/st…
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) June 6, 2013
In 2011, Vinson ruled the key portion of Obamacare — the individual mandate — unconstitutional. In his decision, he put forth the metaphor that Congress could theoretically mandate Americans to buy certain foods.
“Everyone must participate in the food market,” he wrote. “… Under this logic, Congress could [mandate] that every adult purchase and consume wheat bread daily.”
The ruling put the law on the path to an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.
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