Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

Would SCOTUS Make the Responsible Decision on NSA Ruling?

Conor Friedersdorf questions whether a Supreme Court ruling on the NSA’s phone sweep program would risk shutting down “a major intelligence program that administrations of both parties have insisted represents a crucial line of defense against terrorism.”

“They’re often more deferential to the executive branch when it invokes national security, so perhaps Supreme Court justices will let speculative fear of future terrorist attacks corrupt their jurisprudence.”

Friedersdorf concludes this would be a catastrophic mistake: “Unless SCOTUS puts a stop to mass surveillance on tens of millions of innocent Americans, its members … will go down in history as the shortsighted SCOTUS that stood by as an Orwellian surveillance state became reality, even as the government presented no compelling evidence it improved safety.”

“The Court is very likely to be considered partly responsible if the executive or legislative branch perpetrates unchecked constitutional abuses … That’s why being remembered for ratifying mass surveillance would be so shameful a legacy for members of the Supreme Court as they take their place in U.S. history.

  • jakenhyde

    The SCOTUS with not make the right decision if they listen to Scalia. His mind was made up the day Snowden made the NSA information public.

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