Supreme Court Won't Hear ACLU's Domestic Spying Lawsuit
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AP (via MSNBC) reports that the SCOTUS rejected the ACLU's challenge in the 6th circuit to the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretapping through NSA means on "standing" grounds. (ACLU v. National Security Agency, 07-468.) AP reports:
The American Civil Liberties Union wanted the court to allow a lawsuit by the group and individuals over the wiretapping program. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, saying the plaintiffs could not prove their communications had been monitored.
The government has refused to turn over information about the closely guarded program that could reveal who has been under surveillance.
ACLU legal director Steven R. Shapiro has said his group is in a "Catch-22" because the government says the identities of people whose communications have been intercepted is secret. But only people who know they have been wiretapped can sue over the program, Shapiro has said.
"Standing" means that the person suing must be able to prove that they have a legitimate claim of right for damages or other harm -- and must be able to prove that they were, in fact, touched by the actions of the person being sued (in this case, the US government). SCOTUSblog has more here. And they have a fantastic case summary here, including:
Christy Hardin Smith is a former attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review.