“It was a case about a drug dealer in New York, not a terrorist in California,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “But when U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein on Monday denied a routine request to unlock an iPhone in Brooklyn, he clearly had bigger issues in mind.”

“In a 50-page ruling that read like a Supreme Court brief, he rejected in no uncertain terms the Department of Justice’s aggressive use of the broad powers of the 1789 All Writs Act to force Apple to do its bidding in San Bernardino,” P.E.D. reports. “Using the word ‘tyranny’ once and ‘absurd’ nine times, Judge Orenstein accused the DOJ of trying to use the authority of the All Writs Act to get through the courts what it couldn’t get from Congress.”

“It’s one thing for Tim Cook and his supporters in Silicon Valley to accuse the government of over-reaching. It’s quite another when the accusation comes from a federal judge,” P.E.D. reports. “‘[The DOJ’s] preferred reading of the law,’ he wrote, ‘would transform the [All Writs Act] from a limited gap-filing statute that ensures the smooth functioning of the judiciary itself into a mechanism for upending the separation of powers.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As much as Judge Sheri Pym doesn’t get it, Judge Orenstein does.

U.S. Magistrate Judge: The U.S. government cannot force Apple to unlock an iPhone in New York drug case – February 29, 2016
Apple wants judge to rule if it can be forced to unlock defendant’s iPhone – February 16, 2016
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US DOJ claims Apple lacks legal standing to refuse iPhone unlock order – October 23, 2015
Apple tells U.S. judge it can’t unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or higher – October 20, 2015
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