Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Case About NSA Surveillance That Attempted To Jump The Line

from the wait-your-turn dept

This isn’t a huge surprise, but the Supreme Court has declined (without comment) to hear a case brought by EPIC concerning the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program. This isn’t a huge surprise — as EPIC was clearly trying to jump the line to get the case heard directly by the Supreme Court, rather than first going through the district and appeals courts. This was a massive longshot, at best. It doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court won’t eventually take on the issue, but it’s likely to be many years before it has a chance to directly address the question of whether or not the NSA is actually allowed to collect metadata on all phone calls under the FISA Court’s questionable interpretation of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Given that the Roberts Supreme Court seems to go out of its way to avoid actually answering the difficult questions, preferring to write very narrowly focused decisions that leave people with more questions than answers, it seems like even when the program makes it up to the Supreme Court, it may take quite some time to figure out what it actually means for these surveillance programs.

All that said, the one area where I could see the Supreme Court potentially taking a more immediate interest is in the somewhat related question of who has standing to challenge this surveillance, since in the last such case, the US government lied to the Supreme Court and the Justices relied on that very lie in making their decision. Given that, one would hope that the Supreme Court might take a more active immediate interest in the issue, but, again, it’ll likely wait for other cases to boil up. It’s not like the privacy and 4th Amendment rights of every single person in the US are at stake. Oh, wait…

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Comments on “Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Case About NSA Surveillance That Attempted To Jump The Line”

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R.H. (profile) says:

Re: Sure...

Didn’t the Supreme Court already rule that doing so was constitutional? Remember, no one is actually forced to buy health insurance, they are simply taxed (the Supreme Court specifically called it a tax rather than a penalty) if they don’t. I don’t know if I agree with requiring health insurance the same way some states require auto insurance but, I can’t name a better way to make young, relatively healthy people join the risk pool of insured persons.

wavettore (user link) says:


All this should be viewed in a larger context to prevent what is already on the horizon. Indiscriminate monitoring everywhere did not happen with Obama but with George W. Bush, the author of 9/11. The NSA intercepting everyone (even the Pope) was never meant to protect the United States from terrorist attacks. Those few who still believe in the story of Osama Bin Laden will find difficult to realize it but what is been revealed is only part of what is already in store for the next big surprise. Since George H. Bush was CIA director, the US secret State agencies had played a double role to finally get to where we are today when every person is constantly monitored by NSA and other agencies not to report information to the US Government but to feed with all data the embryo of a new superpower. A group of Zionists, like a hidden parallel government, with George Bush still today at the head of secret services in the US, UK and Israel, is the destabilizing force behind most terror events and with classified information at disposal and a private army is plotting what now would seem unthinkable to many. The spokesman for this group in the US Congress is John Mc Cain who reports the given orders weighing on the US administration. The aimed targets for this group are a War of Religion and chaos everywhere so that desperate people will soon invoke a New World Order without even knowing what that is.

There is only one Solution to this planned chain of events.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Wavevolution

No one needs to hear this actually any more than people need to hear the homeless man at the end of the street that walks around all day with ‘the end is nigh’ sign strapped to his chest. Frankly it’s distracting from actual problems because now some people will point to this and just claim it’s all just nut-balls conspiracy bullshit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Wavevolution

Zionists was almost enough to put me off checking out the site but I’m glad I didn’t. The text shifting from color to color, from italics to bold to normal to italic bold to italics to normal to bold to italics ect ad nauseum, the static stock image background that takes up 2/3rds of the horizontal space. It was like a kooky time travel back to the early days of geocities pages. It was at once both ghastly and sublimely beautiful.

Anonymous Coward says:

“the US government lied to the Supreme Court and the Justices relied on that very lie in making their decision.”

Not exactly true is it Mike !!!!

you even say so on the link you provide.

“Either” the Solicitor General Lied …. OR….

But what he actually said is true, (funny that !!!)..

” And this includes a few cases that involved federal prosecutions. “

Yes, it may of led to several prosecutions, but clearly they did not rely on the evidence from the NSA to make those prosecutions, they relied on other evidence, you do understand that evidence is made inadmissible all the time, but that does not mean that other evidence, correctly gathered was not submitted, and that ALL evidence is therefore inadmissible, so he did not lie to the people or the court.

Anyone who knows how courts work would understand this, even Masnick..

At lease you Mr Masnick should not be lying about how your legal system works, as you always claiming a deep understanding of this subject, why do you make claims that just don’t make any sense ?

“Can’t sue the government unless you can prove standing.”

that’s a basic tenant of the law, and if the NSA/FBI do not rely on that evidence for their ‘standing’ that is lawful.

Keep in mind the basic reasoning concept…

“The absence or evidence, is not evidence of absence”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 18th, 2013 @ 7:36pm

Every US citizen has standing. Are you familiar with the text of the fourth amendment?

How old were you when you first heard about it?

When was the first time you were in an american courthouse or watched a court scene in the US on the Australian news?

See, I started learning all that stuff long before you ever did. Maybe you have more years, but its our culture. Who are you to propose you know it better than us? Someone who claims to be a solar panel engineer from Australia?

A lot of what you say seems to contradict what Mike says, but the only thing backing you up is braggadocio. You think, therefore you think its true. Lots of hubris in your comments. You don’t actually back anything up. You just counter with opinions, which you largely share alone.

What other evidence did they rely on?

What “or” are you relying on the government to have used to bring these cases?How is it true? (Other than your opinion)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Except even you must be able to recognize that when evidence is made inadmissible in a court evidence gained as a result of that evidence is also inadmissible and therein lies the problem: if they never bring out the evidence in the first place and hide it behind a veil of secrecy it’s never ruled inadmissible and they’re free to backdoor anything they got ‘legally’ as result of already knowing where to look and what to look for. So your argument, and the NSA/FBIs is completely circular and you and the NSA/FBI are basically saying “yeah, so? The court isn’t allowed to see this half of the circle so it’s not.” It’s all bullshit.

MikeC (profile) says:

The Obvious Reasons to Avoid SCOTUS

It should occur to anyone that the NSA,CIA,FBI, etc.. have access to probably all the private data on both the SCOTUS and all elected representatives. Not to mention it’s all under the control of “non-elected” bureaucrats or maybe we call them King Makers… you don’t think for a single moment they won’t play those cards, do you? This will never be dealt with at the any court level.

Why do you think some these so-called defense arguments that seem so ludicrous and defy logic, have staunch defenders in elected officials and judges. Are you really all that naive to think the fix isn’t already in?

The good old American “Just-Us” system….

Mike C

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