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Supreme Court Refuses to Take on NSA Metadata Case
Softpedia ^ | 7 Apr 14 | Gabriela Vatu

Posted on 04/07/2014 9:15:07 AM PDT by xzins

The US Supreme Court is chickening out and taking a step back from the entire NSA scandal. Rather than making a final decision on whether the bulk telephone metadata surveillance program is constitutional, the Supreme Court has decided to decline the case.

Instead, the Court has now left lower courts to contradict each other over the legality of this particular NSA surveillance program. One court, for instance, has described the metadata program as an “almost-Orwellian” effort.

In fact, this particular petition brought to the Supreme Court concerns precisely a decision given out by US District Judge Richard Leon, who also wrote that in his opinion, America’s founding fathers would be aghast at the spying practices.

Political activist Larry Klayman skipped the Appeal Court and went straight to the Supreme Court, saying that this is a case of imperative public importance, so it should immediately get the attention of the highest court. It should be mentioned that the Supreme Court doesn’t normally pick out cases before they go to the Federal Appeal Court.

The decision to ignore this particular case comes just before the White House is expected to come up with a series of more drastic reforms for the National Security Agency. So far, these reforms have extended to restricting the NSA’s access to the records and having a third party hold them rather than the agency itself, as if that will fix the issue generated by the initial collection.

Most people don’t really expect big changes in the way the United States conducts surveillance considering its weak response thus far and clear unwillingness to make any real changes.

The future of the telephony metadata collection program will most likely be decided by politicians rather than judges. There are several important bills awaiting in Congress, including some that will considerably cut down on NSA’s surveillance powers.

The intelligence community has been lobbying the Congress not to pass the bill, but social pressure might eventually pay off and the bills could still pass.

One of these bills has been written by Jim Sensenbrenner, the same man who wrote the Patriot Act, which the NSA uses to hide behind whenever it explains why a certain surveillance program is legal. Sensenbrenner now wants to set things right and make sure there’s no loophole to be used by the intelligence agencies.


TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: activistcourt; checksandbalances; godsinblackrobes; godsinblackropes; govtabuse; notmyjob; nsa; obamascandals; privacyrights; spying; spyingonus; supremecourt
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1 posted on 04/07/2014 9:15:08 AM PDT by xzins
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To: All
The US Supreme Court is chickening out and taking a step back from the entire NSA scandal

That says it all. It's a clear 4th amendment case.

Too many intercepted messages, I suppose, among the 9 justices.

2 posted on 04/07/2014 9:16:08 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins

This court needs to deal with this. Maybe next year with a different case. They had no problem jumping in to cases about the treatment of foreign prisoners at us facilities in the Bush years and helped sort out allowable and disallowed practices. The same should be true here. Lines need to be drawn and the bureaucracy is not doing it effectively.


3 posted on 04/07/2014 9:18:08 AM PDT by ilgipper
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To: xzins

“You take this case and we will spill the beans about X, Y, and Z....”

The Supreme Court is OWNED!!! Obamacare taught us this valuable lesson...


4 posted on 04/07/2014 9:18:10 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: xzins

Can’t blame them. Can you imagine the crap the NSA has collected about them? Everyone is in fear of the nsa, congress and the preezy included.


5 posted on 04/07/2014 9:20:48 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: xzins

Obviously, the majority on our pathetic SOTUS has something to hide. At least this avoids the embarrassment of having Chief Wimp Roberts issue another blatantly unconstitutional ruling as in the ObamaCare tax debacle.


6 posted on 04/07/2014 9:21:13 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: xzins
“almost" Orwellian

7 posted on 04/07/2014 9:21:14 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: ilgipper

The 4th paragraph in the article says it all ... SCOTUS normally doesn’t accept cases that haven’t gone through the lower courts. Wouldn’t read anything more into it than that.


8 posted on 04/07/2014 9:21:43 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: GraceG

That kind of threat is not only very real, given the Petraeus case, but it is a reason this case should be heard, so that such legitimate accusations could be put to rest. The NSA can operate as a secret police, so they MUST be held to a higher standard.

When the nation has a secret police, then thoughts of abuse and conspiracy are not illogical or irrational. They are completely valid questions.

Rand Paul has this right. I’m not with Paul on a number of his positions — especially amnesty — but he is right on the 4th amendment. There must be a warrant and it must be for EACH American citizen listened to while they are in the 50 states.


9 posted on 04/07/2014 9:23:01 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: tanknetter

I agree with Klayman.

This is the 4th amendment. Scotus is the arbiter of the constitution. This is of immediate, national importance. Violations are happening as we type.


10 posted on 04/07/2014 9:25:25 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins

They know Obama and the NSA are on to all their dirty little secrets.

No reason to actually render a decision backing the NSA when they can accomplish the same thing this way.


11 posted on 04/07/2014 9:40:27 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The future ain't what it use to be -- Yogi Berra)
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To: xzins

SCOTUS has failed to do it’s job. Fine, it’s on the American People now. They better not say a word when the poop starts flying.


12 posted on 04/07/2014 9:49:17 AM PDT by BCR #226 (02/07 SOT www.extremefirepower.com...The BS stops when the hammer drops.)
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To: xzins

“Too many intercepted messages, I suppose, among the 9 justices.”

One can only imagine the files on the Supremes that NSA,FBI, IRS, CIA, DEA, ATF and -—* have in their computers.

* fill in the 3 letter blank for any omitted snoop agency.


13 posted on 04/07/2014 9:52:40 AM PDT by Grampa Dave ( Herr Obama cannot divert resources from his war on Americans!)
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To: xzins

Roberts was the worst mistake Bush ever made.


14 posted on 04/07/2014 10:06:53 AM PDT by BarnacleCenturion
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To: tanknetter
The 4th paragraph in the article says it all ... SCOTUS normally doesn’t accept cases that haven’t gone through the lower courts. Wouldn’t read anything more into it than that.

Yes, they are very reluctant to set Constitutional precedent on anything other than a thoroughly developed record. And that's the way it should be.

15 posted on 04/07/2014 10:07:48 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

How can it possibly hurt to order that the 4th amendment must be followed?


16 posted on 04/07/2014 10:10:36 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: BarnacleCenturion

Roberts fooled all of us


17 posted on 04/07/2014 10:11:58 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: BarnacleCenturion

Agreed that Roberts has turned out to be a disaster.

But Bush’s worst appointment by far was David Souter—now fortunately retired.


18 posted on 04/07/2014 10:15:49 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: xzins

How can they get away with this?

The Supreme Court is like a referee on a football field. The Congress, the President, the state police, and other government officials are the players. Some can pass laws, and others can enforce laws. But all exercise power within certain boundaries. These boundaries are set by the Constitution. As the “referee” in the U.S. system of government, it is the Supreme Court’s job to say when government officials step out-of-bounds.


19 posted on 04/07/2014 10:24:09 AM PDT by Lucky9teen (No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. ~ Albert Einstein)
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To: Cicero

Souter was appointed by Bush Sr.

The problem with Roberts is that he’ll probably be the chief justice for the next 30 years.


20 posted on 04/07/2014 10:25:57 AM PDT by BarnacleCenturion
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To: BarnacleCenturion

Roberts was the worst mistake Bush ever made.

**************

Yes. I often pondered a some sort of mechanism for a popular impeachment of justices. The Founders grossly underestimated the judiciary’s capacity for mischief.


21 posted on 04/07/2014 10:29:05 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (FIGHT! FIGHT! SEVERE CONSERVATIVE AND THE WILD RIGHT!)
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To: xzins; COUNTrecount; Nowhere Man; FightThePower!; C. Edmund Wright; jacob allen; Travis McGee; ...
It's GOOD to have files on everyone...

Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!

To get onto The Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping List you must threaten to report me to the Mods if I don't add you to the list...

22 posted on 04/07/2014 10:32:36 AM PDT by null and void (Politics: Voting for the monkeys that are better at flinging poo at their opponents...)
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To: xzins
There is already an order that the 4th Amendment must be followed. It's called the Constitution.

This has been an extremely poorly reported story and it presents a completely new issue for which there is no precedent on point. How does the 4th Amendment deal with computer metadata? Is it like a pen register that gets no constituional protection or is it like a wiretap that does?

The answer should not be a shot from the hip, but a thoughtful decision based on a thoroughly developed record, perhaps after several Circuits have ruled. A direct appeal from a single district court decision is not a good idea.

23 posted on 04/07/2014 10:36:43 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Lucky9teen

“How can they get away with this?”

They are either cowards or lazy, or most likely both.

They also refused to hear the gay marriage case.

They probably just want to keep their schedules open so they can go golfing with the kenian.


24 posted on 04/07/2014 10:38:56 AM PDT by BarnacleCenturion
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To: xzins

Because if in doing so they step in and circumvent the lower courts they setva horrible precedent and open the doors to circumvent the lower courts that much wider.

With a Conservative Court, that sort of thing would work for us. With a Liberal Court not so much, and we’d all scream bloody murder about it. Just like we did when the Dem Congress eff’d with all sorts of precedent to ram Obamacare through, and as we did when Reid and the Senate Dems pulled the trigger on the nuclear rule.


25 posted on 04/07/2014 10:40:23 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: xzins
The future of the telephony metadata collection program will most likely be decided by politicians rather than judges. There are several important bills awaiting in Congress, including some that will considerably cut down on NSA’s surveillance powers.

Which the Caliph will ignore, as he ignores any law that does not suit his purposes.

26 posted on 04/07/2014 10:41:37 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Some people meet their heroes. I raised mine. Go Army.)
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To: colorado tanker

I don’t think there’s anything to develop. The NSA is getting warrants or they aren’t. That’s either a violation of the 4th amendment or it isn’t.

Let them rule and not stall.


27 posted on 04/07/2014 10:41:56 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: Colonel_Flagg
he ignores any law that does not suit his purposes.

Or he'll take one word out of paragraph 4(a)(1) "listen", and enforce that.

28 posted on 04/07/2014 10:43:21 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: colorado tanker

+1

And I’d add that altho Larry Klayman may have done a lot of good things, and I may agree with him most of the time, he’s still very much a drama queen. Throwing a hissy fit over not being given a special express train to the SCOTUS is yet another example.


29 posted on 04/07/2014 10:44:19 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: tanknetter

See #27


30 posted on 04/07/2014 10:44:30 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins; Lurking Libertarian; Perdogg; JDW11235; Clairity; Spacetrucker; Art in Idaho; GregNH; ...

FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.

31 posted on 04/07/2014 10:44:42 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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To: xzins
Then maybe you can tell me exactly what metadata is and who can now gain access to it with what means besides NSA because no reporter has been able to tell me so far.

What I'm told by my IT people is I need to scrub every document I send someone because if I don't they can read my metadata. That doesn't sound like we have any reasonable expectation of privacy in what we put out on the internet and if not there is no Fourth Amendment protection. Do you want the Court to rule on that basis?

32 posted on 04/07/2014 10:47:17 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: null and void

It's GOOD to have files on everyone...

33 posted on 04/07/2014 10:51:31 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: xzins

Rule #1: no one is allowed into any position with any real power unless they are thoroughly compromised. Judges included. I’ve had opportunity to see some judges who, once obvious and blatant abuse of a defendant’s rights is exposed by police and/or prosecution, will tear them a new one at the bench or sidebar. Not because he was looking out for the defendants rights, but because the judge knew he was going to have to rule in favor or the prosecution in order to cover up that abuse because someone needed their ass covered. At some point in the future, students of history will look back on our “just us” system for the pile of hypocrisy and fraud that it is and wonder why it was allowed to go on for so long.


34 posted on 04/07/2014 10:55:32 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: null and void

It’s not going to get cured easily.


35 posted on 04/07/2014 10:56:57 AM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: Red Badger

Darn you! That’s a much better graphic than the one I posted!


36 posted on 04/07/2014 11:19:26 AM PDT by null and void (Politics: Voting for the monkeys that are better at flinging poo at their opponents...)
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To: BarnacleCenturion

Yes but even worse is making Roberts chief justice. Bush should have made Clarence Thomas chief justice.


37 posted on 04/07/2014 11:23:48 AM PDT by plain talk
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To: null and void

Feel free to use it any time you want!................


38 posted on 04/07/2014 11:34:19 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: xzins

Remind me again ... what exactly *is* the purpose of the Supreme Court? Apparently Constitutional matters are not part of its purview. And so, the "jury box" fails us.


39 posted on 04/07/2014 11:46:27 AM PDT by so_real ( "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.")
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To: tanknetter

Yep.


40 posted on 04/07/2014 11:57:07 AM PDT by arderkrag (To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others. - Buddha)
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To: xzins

They are as political as the rest. Biased, cowardly, imposing their will on the masses when they can get away with it.

Appointed for life, senile, affirmative action’d, yet they still can’t take a moral, Constitutional stand.


41 posted on 04/07/2014 11:59:40 AM PDT by A_Former_Democrat (Hey 2008, we told you so)
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To: colorado tanker

Actually, COtanker, the definition of metadata isn’t the issue. The issue is the government’s bulk collection program. What the program is collecting we will call X. Is what they are collecting, X, a violation of the 4th amendment or isn’t it?

Technically, metadata is data that describes data or “data about data”, but recent revelations have shown that they are collecting bulk data, that is, everything.

So, the issue is the total of X that they are collecting.


42 posted on 04/07/2014 12:26:25 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins
In Smith v. Maryland the Supreme Court held pen registers were not searches because the numbers people call are given to the phone company and there can therefore be no reasonable expectation of privacy in the numbers.

I don't really know what metadata is, but I am told if I don't electronically scrub my documents my metadata can be read by anyone I send them to. If there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in metadata then reading it is not a search and there is no 4th Amendment violation.

This is a big, new issue and the Court will need to decide it fully informed. I sure don't feel ready to make a judgment about it.

43 posted on 04/07/2014 12:32:28 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

So, if collection program, X, included the content of your cellphone conversations, then you would have no problem with it, since you’ve broadcast over a cell frequency, and that, therefore, is in the public domain?


44 posted on 04/07/2014 12:38:50 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: null and void

proved useful when Ocare came before the court....


45 posted on 04/07/2014 12:40:52 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: Nifster
And more so when Constitutional eligibility didn't...
46 posted on 04/07/2014 1:10:52 PM PDT by null and void (Politics: Voting for the monkeys that are better at flinging poo at their opponents...)
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To: xzins

There are no checks and balances now. The Rat senate does whatever their Rat leader says. The House GOP just pays lip service. Everyone in government is getting rich; no reason to stop the gravy train.

Ever wonder why we’re losing every time? I mean, shouldn’t a court case or house vote go our way now and then? No, not when you consider that the “long march through the institutions” as succeeded. What ever meager wins we get will only be to keep most of us somewhat pacified.

We’ve been playing a rigged game. We’re a laughing stock.


47 posted on 04/07/2014 1:14:12 PM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: xzins
Those are the tough questions technology poses. No, I think there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in cell phone calls, which is why most states make listening in on them illegal. Just because land line phones can be tapped doesn't lose the expectation of privacy we all have in them.

I told you I don't know enough about the metadata issue to take a position on the issue. A good first step would be knowing what it actually is, which given the decrepit state of American journalism I haven't seen.

48 posted on 04/07/2014 1:20:22 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: demshateGod; P-Marlowe; Jim Robinson
getting rich...rigged game...laughing stock

Sadly, this is not the system the Founders established. Constitutional changes in taxation, election of senators, and election of president, have removed from us very important checks and balances.

I bristle, demshateGod, when I hear "3 branches of government".

That is SUCH a misrepresentation.

The US Constitution clearly speaks of 5 branches of government.

We have written out THE PEOPLE and THE STATES. The Constitution does not do that.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the People: 1st Branch of Government -- The People

Union: 2nd Branch of Government -- The States

Legislative/Congress: 3rd

Executive: 4th

Judicial: 5th

To make sure this wasn't missed, the Founders clarified in the Bill of Rights their clear intent by closing out with the final word, the 10th Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

49 posted on 04/07/2014 1:32:35 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: colorado tanker

Very fair response, CoTanker. My point is that the case is not about a term “metadata”, but it is about a collection program and ALL that it collects no matter what name some people might to apply.


50 posted on 04/07/2014 1:35:10 PM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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