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…