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The Courts Communications Government Privacy United States

Supreme Court Disallows FISA Challenges 306

Posted by Soulskill
from the right-of-the-FBI-to-keep-and-bear-wiretaps-shall-not-be-infringed dept.
New submitter ThatsNotPudding writes "The U.S. Supreme court has rejected pleas to allow any challenges to the FISA wiretapping law unless someone can prove they've been harmed by it. 'The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was originally designed to allow spying on the communications of foreign powers. But after the September 11 attacks, FISA courts were authorized to target a wide array of international communications, including communications between Americans and foreigners. ... In this case, the plaintiffs' groups said their communications were likely being scooped up by the government's expanded spying powers in violation of their constitutional rights. Today's decision, a 5-4 vote along ideological lines by the nation's highest court, definitively ends their case. In an opinion (PDF) by Justice Samuel Alito, the court ruled that these groups don't have the right to sue at all, because they can't prove they were being spied on.'" Further coverage at SCOTUSblog.
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Supreme Court Disallows FISA Challenges

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  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @08:30PM (#43020215)

    Rather then trying to sue the government they should have raised a constitutional objection to the law itself citing that it violated our right to due process as regards searches and seizure.

    Had they done that, the courts likely would have sided with them.

    It's important to remember that the courts are VERY concerned with protocol. Everything has to be worded and argued in a specific way or it will be dismissed like a syntax error into a compiler. Wrong wording or angle and they'll just say "wrong next case".

    Make it a forth amendment challenge however and you've got a different story.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @10:57PM (#43021101)

    One guy with an over inflated ego & resume' armed with a couple of pea shooters had the federal and state governments of California & Nevada tied in knots and scared to come out of their front doors for about a week recently. One. Guy. that was a deranged dumbass who flunked out of every school or job that wouldn't give him a social pass because of his ethnicity.

    Before Dorner two muslim convert terrorists held Washington DC, Maryland and northern Virginia in a state of terror for several weeks with an old rickety Chevy and a Bushmaster "pea shooter".

    How many muslim terrorists were there on the planes on 9/11? How much has the US changed because of what they did?

    There's at least 100 million of us dumb hicks with various caliber pea shooters running around this country. There's a few million of us who are military veterans with real combat experience. Don't start anything you can't finish slick.

    Guess that makes you the stupid fuck now don't it.

  • Re:FOIA, anyone? (Score:5, Informative)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:52AM (#43021681) Homepage

    One more point, not directed at you -- everything you said was right -- but at the jury nullification [fantasy] crowd.

    This case never got to the trial phase. The case the SC decided was on a pre-trial procedural issue, i.e., do the parties who brought the suit have standing such that they are harmed parties who have the right to sue the government. The SC decided they do not have standing because they don't conclusively know they were spied upon, and that as a result: there will NOT be a trial. If there is no trial, there is no jury, and thus no chance for jury nullification.

    At this point, the only way these abuses will ever be addressed, is if we get a whistleblower. Then harmed individuals would have standing at least, but before those conclusively harmed parties get to a jury, there's the State Secrets Doctrine (rooted in Air Force coverup of negligence [thisamericanlife.org]) to get through, and the Federal Courts fall all over themselves trying to suck the DOJ's dick on that issue. Assuming the extraordinarily unlikely event that one is a conclusively harmed party, finds out about it, AND the State Secrets Doctrine isn't abused to trump your right to trial -- after that, maybe you'd get to present a case to a jury. More probable however, is that the Feds would just retroactively immunize whoever, like they did with AT&T.

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