A federal appeals court has tossed out a challenge to the president’s domestic wiretap program on interesting grounds: even though First and Fourth amendment issues were involved, the plaintiffs couldn’t show the program had harmed them personally. I’m reminded of the well-known poem by Martin Niemoller, which, loosely translated, goes something like this:
First they came for the Socialists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I got a little nervous
and went to court,
Which dismissed my suit because I had no standing
until they came for me.