US Supreme Court rejects NSA privacy petition

US Supreme Court rejects NSA privacy petition

Summary: Without comment, the Supreme Court denied a petition for an order to stop the NSA's telephone records collection program.


The US Supreme Court today denied a motion by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) for a court order against the National Security Agency (NSA)'s blanket collection of telephone records.

According to the New York Times, while the Court gave no reasons for the rejection, the reason was likely procedural: In its response to the EPIC petition, the government had argued that the petition did not meet the requirements for a writ of mandamus, and that the proper procedure for EPIC would be " file an action in federal district court, as other parties have done."

The EPIC petition asks, alternatively, for "a Writ of Certiorari, to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court." Today's Supreme Court order denied the writ of mandamus, but did not list this case in the Court's list of denials of Certiorari. Whether this means there is still a live issue is unclear, but the government had argued in its pleading both that the Supreme Court lacked authority to grant Certiorari under the circumstances presented by EPIC and that EPIC lacked standing seek review before the proper court, i.e. the FISA Court of Review.


Topics: Security, Government US

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  • When the end comes...

    and Congress is disbanded, the Supreme Court will reject legal challenges to the final end of the Constitution on procedural matters. This is a glaring flaw, where you can overload the system to such a point that you can pretty much get away with anything.
    Tony Burzio
    • Glaring flaw? It's accounted for...

      The Founders accounted for such possibilities with a catch-all solution: 2A. It is the right of the people to alter or abolish. It is also our right to be secure in our persons and possessions. When the current trend of ignoring the Constitution goes too far, and those in power attempt to violate the American people to a severe enough degree, they will find that we have retained the ability to resist, when doing so is beyond question of justification.
    • Declaration of Independence

      "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
  • Even the Supreme Court?

    It looks like Big Brother has completely taken over the US government. Shameful. They're supposed to protect America, not spy on us.
  • If I remember my U.S. history correctly...

    The provision of the Judiciary Act of 1789 giving the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in Mandamus cases was ruled unconstitutional by the Court in 1803 (Marbury v. Madison, the very first time the Supremes disregarded an act of Congress on constitutional grounds). So given that EPIC is neither a state nor a diplomatic body, why was this case filed with the Supreme Court in the first place?
    John L. Ries
  • How is the plaintive injured?

    Having actually read my user agreement with Apple and AT&T, I don't understand how, or even if, I've been injured by the NSA data mining my cellular activity. Have any of my calls or text messages been intercepted, redirected, or halted in any way? No, I can call anyone I want whenever I want for as long as I want. And according to the agreement, it's not my data anyway. All call metrics, information, and usage is the sole proprietary property of the carrier and can be used any way they wish... to improve system performance or for marketing.

    I think these cases against the NSA will all die a slow death. There is plenty of precedent that the "security of the nation" is paramount and SCOTUS is likely unwilling to change that. I give up my rights against search and seizure when I buy an airplane ticket, and the same logic can easily be applied to a cell phone agreement. I'm not saying I'm OK with it... it's just reality.
    Michael Linneer