Gilmore case...Who can make laws?

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at
Tue Sep 7 08:11:47 PDT 2004

Hum. Another wrinkle in this thing occurred to me here, though I'm sure 
various Cypherpunks will (rightly) declare me naive.

This describes the "Government" as creating secret laws. But, theoretically, 
only the congress and the Senate can create new laws, correct? The Executive 
branch has never been empowered to create laws, and I'm thinking these 
travel laws did not go through congress or the senate.

So not only are these laws secret, they emanate from a body that is not 
empowered to make laws within the US. Is there a precedent, or perhaps 
because the "War on Terror" must be waged everywhere, the Commander in Chief 
can claim the right to make new domestic laws as a function of his wartime 


>From: "J.A. Terranson" <measl at>
>To: "cypherpunks at" <cypherpunks at>
>Subject: Gilmore case: CNN
>Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2004 06:50:16 -0500 (CDT)
>Government wants ID arguments secret
>Monday, September 6, 2004 Posted: 4:07 PM EDT (2007 GMT)
>SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has asked
>an appellate court to keep its arguments secret for a case in which
>privacy advocate John Gilmore is challenging federal requirements to show
>identification before boarding an airplane.
>A federal statute and other regulations "prohibit the disclosure of
>sensitive security information, and that is precisely what is alleged to
>be at issue here," the government said in court papers filed Friday with
>the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Disclosing the restricted
>information "would be detrimental to the security of transportation," the
>government wrote.
>Attorneys for Gilmore, a 49-year-old San Francisco resident who co-founded
>the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group, said they
>don't buy the government's argument and that its latest request raises
>only more questions.
>"We're dealing with the government's review of a secret law that now they
>want a secret judicial review for," one of Gilmore's attorneys, James
>Harrison, said in a phone interview Sunday. "This administration's use of
>a secret law is more dangerous to the security of the nation than any
>external threat."
>Gilmore first sued the government and several airlines in July 2002 after
>airline agents refused to let him board planes in San Francisco and
>Oakland without first showing an ID or submitting to a more intense
>search. He claimed in his lawsuit the ID requirement was vague and
>ineffective and violated his constitutional protections against illegal
>searches and seizures.
>A U.S. District Court judge earlier this year dismissed his claims against
>the airlines, but said his challenge to the government belonged in a
>federal appellate court.
>Now in his appellate case, Gilmore maintains the federal government has
>yet to disclose the regulations behind the ID requirement to which he was
>"How are people supposed to follow laws if they don't know what they are?"
>Harrison said.
>The government contends its court arguments should be sealed from public
>view and heard before a judge outside the presence of Gilmore and his
>attorneys. The government, however, said it would plan to file another
>redacted public version of its arguments.
>A date for a hearing on the matter has not yet been set.

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