Target: United States Supreme Court
Goal: Pressure the Supreme Court to hear arguments against warrantless wiretapping.
The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to hear cases that challenge spying conducted by the National Security Agency, or NSA. A petition recently filed by a privacy group called on the Supreme Court to examine the NSA’s right to collect data on millions of Verizon customers. The Justices issued no comment in refusing to hear this case.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, the organization that filed the petition, did not previously file their lawsuit with the lower courts. The group explained that this was because only the Supreme Court could review an earlier decision which “exceeded its statutory jurisdiction when it ordered production of millions of domestic telephone records that cannot plausibly be relevant to an authorized investigation.”
This is not the first time that the Justices have ignored challenges to domestic spying. In the Court’s last term, they refused to investigate the constitutionality of Foreign Intelligence Security Act amendments. These amendments, which Congress passed in 2008, expanded the NSA’s ability to conduct warrantless wiretapping.
Tell the Supreme Court that privacy rights still matter to Americans. Tell them to hear the case, In Re Electronic Privacy Information Center, and to stop ignoring legitimate concerns that the NSA is violating people’s constitutional rights.
Dear Justices of the United States Supreme Court,
Your recent refusal to hear In Re Electronic Privacy Information Center comes as a great disappointment to Americans concerned with the erosion of their right to privacy. Federal agencies like the NSA have been conducting warrantless wiretapping for years, both on Americans and foreigners who have committed no crimes. This is in direct violation of our Fourth Amendment right to privacy.
Your refusal last term to address the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Security Act’s amendments marked a dark day for those who still believe in the Constitution. Protecting our Fourth Amendment right to privacy, and to freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, is indeed the task set before the Court. With your refusal to hear this most recent lawsuit, Americans can only wonder whether the goal is instead to protect NSA’s domestic spying, including the collection of phone records from millions of Verizon customers.
Restore faith in the Supreme Court as a check and balance to forces that seek to shred our Constitutional rights in the name of national security. A careful, thorough examination of this case can help do just that. I urge you to reconsider your decision, and to hear the lawsuit filed with you by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Morriswa via Wikimedia Commons