Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Court Rejects ACLU Challenge to Wiretaps

Court Rejects ACLU Challenge to Wiretaps
"WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court dealt a setback Tuesday to civil rights and privacy advocates who oppose the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. The justices, without comment, turned down an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union to let it pursue a lawsuit against the program that began shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The action underscored the difficulty of mounting a challenge to the eavesdropping, which remains classified and was confirmed by President Bush only after a newspaper article revealed its existence...The Terrorist Surveillance Program no longer exists, although the administration has maintained it was legal."

POLS 354:

This program dealt with conversations between people in the US and people in other nations. As I understand it the ACLU had a standing problem because the program was secret and therefore nobody could know if he or she were a subject of it. So the ACLU argued that as a precaution everybody (including the ACLU) would have to curb their conversations with foreigners. That wasn't enough to constitute standing, said the appellate court (6th Circuit). And now the USSC has denied the petition for writ of cert. End of case. What do you think?

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