Last week, the ACLU filed a brief with the Supreme Court in a long-running constitutional challenge to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), a statute that gives the National Security Agency (NSA) expansive power to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans' international communications. The ACLU's lawsuit is before the Supreme Court on the question of whether theplaintiffs—a coalition of professionals whose work requires confidential or sensitive international communications—have "standing" to challenge the law. We argued in our brief that the plaintiffs have standing because the FAA forces them to take costly and burdensome measures to avoid surveillance of such communications. The appeals court agreed, and on October 29, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument to consider the issue.
This week, a wide range of organizations filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the ACLU's clients. The nine briefs include submissions from lawyers, journalists, civil liberties organizations, and even a gun owners' association.