I find it fascinating that the precedent for the decision -- to vacate charges due to improper venue -- is established by the court by going all the way back to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
The proper place of colonial trials was so
important to the founding generation that it was listed as a
grievance in the Declaration of Independence. See The
Declaration of Independence para. 21 (U.S. 1776) (objecting
to “transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended
offences”). It was of such concern that the Constitution of the
United States “twice safeguards the defendant’s venue right.”
United States v. Cabrales, 524 U.S. 1, 6 (1998). Article III
requires that “the Trial of all Crimes . . . shall be held in the
State where the said Crimes shall have been committed.”
U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 3. The Sixth Amendment further
provides that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall
enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial
jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have
That's a little weaker than precedent; they're mostly citing it just as generic historical background, support for the introductory scene-setting observation that venue is an important matter rather than a mere procedural technicality. But their actual analysis of whether venue is proper in NJ, and whether vacating the conviction is proper if not, doesn't rely on that.
Just to expounded. Once you get passed Secret almost everything is compartmentalized.
To speak to the Snowden leaks, in there entirety they now are clearly, far outside the scope of any single user, unless that user was a multi-department head or higher. It is more likely that the leaks are from multiple users now. The story posted yesterday about the access level of the information lends this theory some credibility, although none to the means of access.
> SpaceX is doing great implementations of pretty conservative designs.
Like the other reply mentioned, they are certainly working on some technologies that are starkly less conservative. One example is the Grasshopper , a reusable first stage that is capable of returning to the launchpad under controlled burn.
In particular the rocket system that landed was discarded and a new rocket system took off, so I don't think it's even "technical". It's like calling a car that rolls off a ferry an "amphibious" vehicle.
I remember reading the arguments for reusability etc 1990 on usenet's sci.space (and later sci.space.tech). Henry Spencer et al made good points.
You have to wonder how large a role is played by NASA not having a shuttle now -- and hence no motivation to use its political clout to stop competition?
Let us just hope delaying the real space age capabilities a few decades won't result in the death of humanity... (But if we go extinct because of a bureaucracy's need for job security, we arguably deserve what we get.)
It's long been argued by Jerry Pournelle and others that a fully reusable spacecraft could be built by being "starkly conservative" in materials and technology, but using modern construction techniques.
I disagree with your interpretation that the Executive Branch has "totally unchain [sic] itself from the Constitution."
Congress has voted a couple times in the most recent decade to approve extensions for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (see footnotes). So under Congressional authority, the Executive Branch has been able to continue their activities under the FISC. I do agree, however, that there is a blindfold around the Judicial branch that prevents any introspection into the actual interpretations of law under the FISC, specifically w/r/t the 4th Amendment.