The Law: New Curb on Bugging

Shortly after taking office, the Nixon Administration claimed the right to eavesdrop—without a judicial warrant —on anyone it chose to consider a threat to the national security. By the time the issue reached the Supreme Court, Nixon had appointed four new Justices, so the Government thought its chances of enforcing the claim seemed promising. But last week, by a vote of 8 to 0, with Justice William Rehnquist abstaining, the court declared that bugging or tapping domestic political "suspects" without a warrant is illegal. "Those charged with this investigative and prosecutorial duty should...

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