Looks like a little digging by Shock at Daily KOS has come up with the answer in an old article in the Washington Post.
Apparently the courts had already rebuffed Ashcroft about bad wiretaps in 2002:
The secretive federal court that approves spying on terror suspects in the United States has refused to give the Justice Department broad new powers, saying the government had misused the law and misled the court dozens of times, according to an extraordinary legal ruling released yesterday.
A May 17 opinion by the court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) alleges that Justice Department and FBI officials supplied erroneous information to the court in more than 75 applications for search warrants and wiretaps, including one signed by then-FBI Director Louis J. Freeh.
Authorities also improperly shared intelligence information with agents and prosecutors handling criminal cases in New York on at least four occasions, the judges said.
The documents released yesterday also provide a rare glimpse into the workings of the almost entirely secret FISA court, composed of a rotating panel of federal judges from around the United States and, until yesterday, had never jointly approved the release of one of its opinions. Ironically, the Justice Department itself had opposed the release.
Stewart Baker, former general counsel of the National Security Agency, called the opinion a "a public rebuke. ...
Read the entire story here.