Capper, Dir of National Intelligence, et al v. Amnesty International USA et al

SCOTUS Dismisses Federal Wiretapping Challenge


Full text copy of Supreme Court's dismissal of lawsuit challenging federal wiretapping program.

On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, a divided Court dismissed a challenge to the FISA Amendments Act, which permits federal wiretapping of electronic communications without probable cause as long as one of the parties to the communication is located outside the United States. From’s report on the ruling:

“The 5-4 decision by Justice Samuel Alito was a clear victory for the President Barack Obama administration, which like its predecessor, argued that government wiretapping laws cannot be challenged in court. What’s more, the outcome marks the first time the Supreme Court decided any case touching on the eavesdropping program that was secretly employed in the wake of 9/11 by the President George W. Bush administration, and eventually codified into law twice by Congress.

A high court majority concluded that, because the eavesdropping is done secretly, the American Civil Liberties Union, journalists and human-rights groups that sued to nullify the law have no legal standing to sue — because they have no evidence they are being targeted by the FISA Amendments Act. Some of the plaintiffs, which the court labeled ‘respondents,’ are also journalists and among other things claimed the 2008 legislation has chilled their speech and violated their Fourth Amendment privacy rights.”

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Reference Info:Decision | Federal, U.S. Supreme Court | United States

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