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deminks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:46 PM
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Judges Consolidates Telecom Spy Lawsuits
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060810/domestic_spying_lawsuit....

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal panel of judges has consolidated 17 lawsuits throughout the United States filed against telephone companies accused of assisting the Bush administration monitor Americans' communications without warrants.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the cases to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who last month declined to dismiss one of the lawsuits brought against the federal government and AT&T Inc., according to an order released Thursday.

The consolidated lawsuits also target Verizon Communications Inc., BellSouth Corp. and their affiliates. The panel ruled 26 other lawsuits with similar allegations also may be moved to Walker, who took the bench in 1990 after being nominated by the first President Bush.

Walker ruled July 20 the warrantless eavesdropping has been so widely reported there's no danger of exposing secrets. No hearing has been set, and the Justice Department has asked Walker to halt the case pending appeal.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:59 PM
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1. is consolidation a good thing or an easy way to
close down all of them in one fell swoop?
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cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Walker, who took the bench in 1990 after being nominated by the first Bush
...that might be a pretty good clue I think.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. NSA telecom lawsuits sent to California court (Reuters)
Aug 10, 2006 By Jeremy Pelofsky

... "We conclude that the Northern District of California is an appropriate transferee forum in this docket because the district is where the first filed and significantly more advanced action is pending before a judge already well versed in the issues presented by the litigation," the panel said in an August 9 order.

The government and telephone companies had sought to move the cases to a Washington, D.C. court while a plaintiff's attorney asked the California judge handle the cases.

Walker last month rejected a request from U.S. government officials to dismiss one lawsuit against AT&T Inc., but earlier this week agreed to stay the proceedings until an appeals court could rule on that decision and for the judicial panel to rule on where the cases would go ...

BellSouth has denied turning over records or providing access to the NSA, while Verizon has said it does not provide the government unfettered access to customer records. AT&T has said it helps when asked by the government, but only within the law ...

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=2298517
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