Judge Says Supreme Court Should Overturn Awful Surveillance Precedent, But Until It Does, He Has To Reject Case Against NSA
from the a-small-step dept
In a new case, Smith v. Obama (assuming no relation to the "Smith" in the Maryland case), Judge Lynn Winmill, in the Idaho district court, has said that Judge Leon's ruling should be the model for a Supreme Court ruling overturning Smith v. Maryland. However, since no such ruling has taken place, he has to reject the claim in this case:
Judge Leon's decision should serve as a template for a Supreme Court opinion. And it might yet. Justice Sotomayor is inclined to reconsider Smith, finding it “ill-suited to the digital age, in which people reveal a great deal of information about themselves to third parties in the course of carrying out mundane tasks.” See U.S. v. Jones, 132 U.S. 945, 957 (2012) (Sotomayor, J., concurring). The Fourth Amendment, in her view, should not “treat secrecy as a prerequisite for privacy.”There's a bit more to the case overall, as it focuses on "location" data, and it's not entirely clear if the NSA is really collecting location data. However, as Judge Winmill notes, the Supreme Court's rulings in Jones suggest that the Supreme Court may be finally recognizing how outdated Smith v. Maryland is -- and it's good to see other judges recognizing this as well, even if they're constrained by existing precedent elsewhere.
But Smith was not overruled, and it continues – along with the Circuit decisions discussed above – to bind this Court. This authority constrains the Court from joining Klayman. Accordingly, the Court will grant the defendants’ motion to dismiss and deny Smith's motion for injunctive relief.