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Five out of five crusty judges with FISA court and national security experience say that the President must follow the law just like everyone else.

Thus far, this morning’s NSA hearings have been educational.  This first panel of judges has been talking a lot about Sen. Specter’s proposed legislation — that seems to have been the primary reason that they were called, to heap praise on it.  The second panel ought to be a bit more frisky. 

But this first panel has been pretty clear on the point that when Congress passes a law that is Constitutional, then everyone is bound by that law — including the President.  Period.  I’d look for a lot more winger attacks on the constitutionality of FISA, since that’s the next likely line of attack — that whole "Yoo knows what he’s talking about" meme isn’t really going well for them.

Specter started off the day by saying that it is pretty clear that FISA was violated.  If I can find video or a transcript, I’ll certainly link it up.

The ACLU has a press release on this.  Will update on the hearings as I can throughout the day.

Morton Halperin up next.

UPDATEHoorah for David Kris testifying now — "I see this as a Constitutional moment."  Booyah.

UPDATE #2:  Halperin’s statement is available here (PDF).  Thanks to reader