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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear EPIC Challenge To NSA Surveillance 227

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-not-listening-to-you dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "The challenge to the NSA's domestic surveillance program filed with the Supreme Court by the Electronic Privacy Information Center ended Monday, with the court refusing to consider the challenge at all. EPIC had filed the challenge directly with the Supreme Court rather than going through the lower courts. EPIC, a non-profit organization involved in privacy policy matters, had asked the court to vacate an order from a judge in the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court that had enabled the NSA's collection of hundreds of millions of Verizon call records under the so-called metadata collection program. The challenge hinged on the idea that the FISC had gone outside of its authority in granting the order."
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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear EPIC Challenge To NSA Surveillance

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  • Proper Procedure (Score:4, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Monday November 18, 2013 @02:51PM (#45457017)

    EPIC had filed the challenge directly with the Supreme Court rather than going through the lower courts.

    This is the issue. The Supremes like you to work your way up through the lower courts as it is the proper procedure. If they accepted even a fraction of cases that didn't work the system the way it was designed, they would have a HUGE case load that could have been solved at a lower level.

    EPIC will whine about this, but they should have been able to predict the outcome.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Monday November 18, 2013 @02:51PM (#45457021)

    If you are still in college I recommend you take a course or two in the functioning of the judicial system. This was an easily predictable failure. You don't make your first filing with the US Supreme Court for just about any case an ordinary citizen could bring.

    Even citizens with rights have to follow procedure.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday November 18, 2013 @03:11PM (#45457191) Homepage Journal

    I hate to say it, but you're right. The judicial branch of government runs on precedent and tradition, unless and until it is convenient for them to counter precedent and tradition.

    IANAL, but I'm not aware of any cases being taken directly to the Supreme Court like Epic tried to do. Everything runs through the lower courts, even if the Supreme Court is the intended goal.

  • by jcochran (309950) on Monday November 18, 2013 @03:11PM (#45457195)

    I have got to laugh at this level of ignorance. You just might want to review what happened during that time frame.

    1. Election happened.
    2. Democrats cried 'foul', there must be a recount.
    3. Much legal wrangling and counting went on. A nice summary was
            Republicans - This has to go to the Supreme Court.
            Democrats - Nope, it's too early for the Supreme Count. We can handle it at a lower level.
    4. Repeat step 3 until time is almost out.
    5. The case finally gets to the Supreme Court.
    6. Verdict boiled down to 'A new vote should have been done, however, there is no longer enough time for it so the current count stands'

    Hmm... Seems to me that the Democrats shot themselves in the foot there during step 3. But then again, the policy that they had on recounts in generals for close elections was
    a. Perform recount.
    b. If recount not in their favor, go to step a.
    c. If recount in their favor, no matter how small the margin is, then scream 'Stop! The recount is done! We won!'.

    But in the case of Florida, their usual tactics failed. Too bad, so sad.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Informative)

    by Antipater (2053064) on Monday November 18, 2013 @04:07PM (#45457759)

    There is really no telling what has happened behind the scenes. Does kristallnacht ring any bells?

    If you're referring to the murder of anti-Nazis within the German government, I believe you're thinking of the Night of the Long Knives [wikipedia.org], not Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht was a series of very public anti-Jewish riots.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Informative)

    by Antipater (2053064) on Monday November 18, 2013 @05:01PM (#45458281)
    Eh? The Night of the Long Knives took place in 1934, four years before Kristallnacht. Street violence from the brownshirts was a major factor leading to the Long Knives, sure, but at that time it was random and unfocused, just drunken brownshirts beating up anyone they saw. Kristallnacht was specifically focused against Jews.
  • by Frobnicator (565869) on Monday November 18, 2013 @08:29PM (#45459793) Journal

    It isn't a matter of tradition. The US Constitution only allows two types of cases to start at the supreme court:

    "In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction"

    This case did not involve the specified people, nor did it involve a state. Therefore it cannot originate in the supreme court.

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