U.S. Supreme Court, May 10, 2016
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the legislative showdown of the century! You're here with us live in the U.S. Supreme Court Chamber and this is Jesse "The Governor " Ventura bringing you all the action in this epic clash of ideologies! As usual, I'm joined here bench side tonight by my friend and color man, the Legendary Lover and former two-time heavy weight President of the United States, Mr. Bill Clinton. How we doin' tonight Bill?
Oh I'm doin' real well Jesse, just happy to be out of the house if you know what I mean.
I do indeed Bill and if I know you, you're making the most the of it! Tell us Bill, how did we get here tonight and what's at stake?
Jesse, this all began a couple of years ago when President Obama authorized the NSA to collect cell phone data from all American citizens. It was a pretty bold move because no American president had ever used the existing system of courts and warrants in quite that way. From an intelligence gathering standpoint, it was revolutionary!
Why don't you tell us a little more about that existing system Bill.
Well that's where it gets dicey. The Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights guarantees that all Americans are secure in their property and communications from government spying while the due process clauses of the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments establish the need for the government to follow certain guidelines if they want to deprive a citizen of that right. It means they need a judge to issue a warrant that specifically and narrowly spells out what they're looking for, who they're looking at and for how long they want to do it.
Not if you've got a Patriot Act though, right Bill?!
That's right Jesse. The President argues that this type of top-secret bulk data collection program is authorized in Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. Moreover, due to the sensitive nature of the war on terrorism, this program, the FISA court it goes through and the scope of the warrants they grant have every right to stay forever out of the light of day. He also vigorously claims that since it only gathers what's known as metadata, and not the actual content of the calls, that it doesn't violate the Constitution.
Now for our fans at home, metadata is information about the number called, the number from which the call is made and the duration and time of the call.
That's good stuff Bill but I gotta' cut you off there because I hear Senator Paul's entrance music coming on which means he's about to enter the ring! Let's hand it over to our Ring Announcer, Chief Justice John Roberts.
Yes Bill, Rand Paul emerged early on as an outspoken voice defending the Constitution and the Rights it protected for every American. He's been itching for this fight since day one.
And the NSA spying was his best shot?
Oh yeah Bill. When that story broke it was huge. And it was a major black eye for a President who'd come into office as the anti-George Bush, a guy who as a Senator himself, had publicly denounced exactly this type of spying. And if you'll remember, just about everyone was mad about this. In my opinion, it was this issue that tuned Barack Obama from a face into a heel to borrow an phrase from my professional wrestling days.
And really Jesse, it wasn't long after that when Senator Paul announced the class action suit that ultimately brought us here to the Supreme Court tonight.
No Bill it wasn't. The scandal broke in the pages of a British newspaper in the late spring of 2013 and in January of 2014 he issued the smack down!
Jesse, is it safe to say that Senator Paul was emboldened by a Federal Judge's ruling in December of 2013 that the methods employed by Obama and the NSA were illegal?
I think so Bill. I mean that judge called the actions of the NSA "almost Orwellian." Yeah, I'd say Senator Paul found that encouraging.
So, aside from leveraging this spotlight into a seat in the Oval Office, why is the Senator doing this Jesse? What's his angle?
Well Bill, we've got a clip of Senator Paul taken during the weigh in for this bout. Why don't we run that.
“There's a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records are being taken without suspicion, without a judge's warrant, and without individualization.
I'm not against the NSA, I'm not against spying, I'm not against looking at phone records. I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual's name and a warrant. That's what the Fourth Amendment says.”
So there you have it Bill.
Now Bill, you've found yourself squaring off in this very chamber with stakes just as high. What's going through the mind of the President as he prepares for this fight?
Jesse, I can assure you, he's scared. He's been wearing a brave face for the cameras and his fans in Congress but he does NOT want to be here tonight. I can also tell you from personal experience that he's completely convinced that he's right and he's ready to fight this thing to the bitter end to prove it. In President Obama's mind, the security of this country is absolutely paramount. He simply will not allow another 9/11 on his watch and he's prepared to trim the edges of the Constitution to do it.
I hear ya Bill. No president wants that on their resume. In fact it's always seemed to me that a young Barack Obama borrowed a lot of his style, surveillance wise, from his predecessor, George "The Invader" Bush.
Absolutely Jesse. After all, the Patriot Act style that President Obama uses was created and made famous by President Bush. In fact, strange as it may seem, I believe G.W. is here tonight rooting for President Obama.
Politics do make strange bedfellows Bill... Something I believe YOU know plenty about.
That depends on what your definition of "make" is, Jesse.
Well on that note Bill, here comes the champ now. Over to you again Justice Roberts.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN I NOW ASK YOU ALL TO RISE... NOW ENTERING THE COURTROOM WEIGHING IN AT ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FIVE POUNDS.. HAILING FROM PARTS UNKNOWN... THE KENYAN KID, THE EXECUTIVE EXECUTIONER... THE TWO TIME PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA... BARRRACK OBAMAAAAAAAAA!!!
I tell ya Jesse, I didn't realize forty percent of a crowd could seem so loud, but his fans really support him!
They sure do Bill. But tell me, Senator Paul has a pretty clear offensive tactic here. How does the president plan to defend himself?
Jesse, he's going to lean on the myriad of laws and protections built up in the centuries since the ratification of the Constitution. He's especially going to use the broad powers of the Patriot Act as his primary defense. But those are the technical aspects. As I said earlier in the broadcast, what the people will see here are his attempts to push a "security of the nation" defense.
And what did he have to say to Rand Paul during the weigh ins Bill?
Here's a direct quote from the President Jesse, “I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100 per cent security and also then have 100 per cent privacy and zero inconvenience."
What does that even mean Bill?
Well Jesse, I think it means that President Obama knows exactly how to tip toe through proceeding likes these without sustaining any serious injuries. He reminds me a bit of myself when I was the champ actually.
So you're saying to expect a lot of entertaining theater but not much meaningful action?
That's exactly what I'd expect Jesse.
Well let's turn it back over to Chief Justice Roberts to light this candle!
Alright gentlemen, you've both been sworn in and you both know the rules. Let's keep this thing just nasty enough to distract the public. I expect kicking and biting and plenty of shots below the belt. When you hear the bell ring, you're each to go back to your corner and issue sensational sound bites. Do you both understand?
THEN LETS GET READY TO RUMMMBLLLLLLLLLE!!!!