Covered at Reason 24/7: Administration Moves To Quash Challenge to NSA Surveillance


Reason 24/7

Never let a good crisis — or a really Kafka-eque court decision — go to waste. At least, that seems to be the attitude of the White House which, one week after the Supreme Court ruled that parties unable to prove they were subject to super-secret government eavesdropping have no standing to challenge such eavesdropping, has moved to toss an EFF lawsuit against NSA electronic surveillance on similar grounds. If it prevails, the government will have successfuly created and applied a legal regime under which Americans must prove that they are the targets of surveillance before they can mount a court fight, even as the government is free to keep its list of targets secret.

From Wired:

Citing week-old Supreme Court precedent, the President Barack Obama administration told a federal judge Wednesday that it should quash a federal lawsuit accusing the government of secretly siphoning Americans' electronic communications to the National Security Agency without warrants.

The San Francisco federal court legal filing was in response to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White's written question to the government asking what to make of the high court's Feb. 26 decision halting a legal challenge to a once-secret warrantless surveillance project that gobbles up Americans' electronic communications — a program that Congress eventually legalized in 2008 and again in 2012.

In that case, known as Clapper, the justices ruled 5-4 that the American Civil Liberties Union, journalists and human-rights groups that sued to nullify the FISA Amendments Act had no legal standing to sue. The justices ruled the plaintiffs submitted no evidence they were being targeted by that law.

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  1. Constitution – Constismooshin

    1. that musty old thing was written by white slaveholders

  2. The Supreme Court is a joke in your town.

    1. Friday and Saturday at the Phunny Bone.

    2. Don’t you see how they be reactin?

  3. OT:

    Who would have ever thought that Congresses very own war monger duo would have a hissy over Rand Pauls stand against droning US citizens.

    Dumb and Dumber

    Rand should take these two and crack their heads together, like Mo.

    1. I’m having a blast mocking liberals for agreeing 100% with John McCain and Lindsay Graham, two ‘right-wing extremists’ on an issue like civil liberties.

      1. These old neocons need to be driven out of congress.

        It’s really hard to believe that there’s not a viable candidate to challenge Graham when he’s up for reelection. McCain, I am sure will die before he ever loses his seat. We can only hope that he becomes more irrelevant as time passes.

        1. The Tea Party is supposed to be primarying him in 2014. Right now it looks like former Sanford ally State Sen Lee Bright is the most likely challenger.

          1. Thanks, I’ll check him out.

            1. He’s been pretty good during his time in the Senate, definitely a friend of the taxpayer. He’s also a hardcore “family values” guy. But he did introduce a bill that would exempt all firearms and ammo owned in SC from Federal regulation.

      2. Since the last Rand thread is a little old now, see here for a quick transcription of what he just said on the Senate floor in response to Holder’s shitty response.

        1. It’s warm and fuzzy that Holder pays lip service to a higher standard for assassinating citizens, but until it’s made into law or legal precedent, I don’t believe him for a second.

          “Yeah, yeah, we pinky swear not to murder you unless we believe you really deserve it.”

          1. I wouldn’t believe him even if it was made law, since he’s the sole enforcer.

            What I don’t get is why the admin doesn’t just say sure, it’s unconstitutional, and then do whatever the hell they want. It wouldn’t be the first time BO’s opinion has “evolved” 180 degrees opposite from its previous position.

            1. What possible benefit is it to them to be on the record saying it’s unconstitutional? Weasel words are much more useful here. Then no one can say “but you said it was unconstitutional!”

              1. Especially when even the guy who was willing to stand up and bitch about your weasel words for 13 hours is now fine with swallowing some slightly different ones.

            2. Sometime during the Clinton Administration, it became slightly more reasonable “to assume the worst” about State actors and actions rather than “to give the benefit of the doubt”. The behavior of the State has become so progressively reprehensible that it is seldom appropriate to give the benefit of the doubt unless the claim is something particularly absurd like a 9/11 conspiracy theory.

              Holder’s recent statements suggest that the situation is so bad that we should never attribute to stupidity that which can be explained by malice.

        2. I see Holders response as just another non-response from this Admin, their typical bullshit deflection tactic. Holder is a criminal(see Fast and Furious) and should be in prison.

          What constitutes being actively engaged in hostile activities against the US government? It means whatever they say it means.

          1. What constitutes being actively engaged in hostile activities against the US government?

            That wording is frightening, “against the US government“. Are the government and the administration equivalent? What constitutes hostility against the government? What about the rest of us? It conveys a real sense of everybody else vs the system.

      3. The contortions they will go through to suck off Obama’s authority are absolutely amazing. They’ve clearly indicated that making their guy king is their absolute top priority. And for some reason they don’t think the other TEAM is ever going to get a chance at these powers. So they’re either imbeciles, delusional, or honestly think something’s going to happen to keep their TEAM in power forevermore.

        If we could somehow wall these fucking scum off into their own country and just film the resulting bloodbaths, it would be the greatest reality show of all time.

        1. If we could somehow wall these fucking scum off into their own country and just film the resulting bloodbaths, it would be the greatest reality show of all time.

          Best idea I’ve heard in a while. Progressives need one thing above all others. A dear leader. Unfortunately they also need a productive host to feed on. Take that away, and yeah, it will get ugly fast.

        2. I volunteer to help build that wall. Can we have pots of boiling oil at the top?

          1. All you can eat.

        3. But then what do we do with the Republican establishment like McCain, along with the social conservative bloc?

    2. McCain makes an excellent Curly Joe, but Graham is more of a Shemp than a Larry. And that would be totally anachronistic.


        Why am I picturing Schumer as Larry?

    3. McCain and Graham have sand in their vaginas because a real man who recently arrived (2010)took a stand in the Senate and accomplished more for liberty in 24 hours than they have been able to manage after (how many?) years.

      For McCain to say that Rand’s filibuster was shallow and a stunt and silly makes me want to pound his face and then mail him back to Ho Chi Min.

      1. Paul and Cruz’ speeches were hands down the best pro-liberty speeches I have ever seen on the floor of the senate. I don’t know if it will matter long term, but they were doing God’s work out there.

        1. I’ll tell you how good the speeches were.

          They mentioned the Constitution eleventy-seven times and the usual suspects forgot to claim the the Constitution is obsolete.

          1. Another funny thing:

            I saw a McCain snippet that said he told Rand Paul to “calm down”.. How ironic is that.

            Have you ever seen a better example of “calm” than Rand Paul standing up to a President who would be king?

            And then you have “maverick” McCain.
            (singing) Highway to the Danger Zone”.

    4. I just had to go over to HuffPo to read the comments on Rands filibuster. Just wow. Here is a gem, which shows the entire mindset of the progressive clan:

      I’d rather have drones being commanded by sane people, than the proliferation of guns in the hands of wingnutz…

      1. They keep using the term ‘wingnut’ which in their minds means ‘white Republican.’ But those white, good ol’ boy Republicans that they’re so worried about aren’t the ones shooting anybody.

        They’re comically paranoid about the least dangerous group of gun owners: Those who own legal guns which they use for hunting, defense or target practice. They live in a universe much unlike our own.

        1. That’s because the gun issue is only tangential. What really bothers them are the good ole’ boy wingnutz.

  4. Maybe these dipshits shouldn’t have voted for Obama.

    1. How do you know they didn’t.

      1. ignor my comment I miss read your comment
        I read should instead of shouldn’t. your comment was to simple for me.

  5. Can’t sue unless you can prove that you’re the subject of surveillance, and you can’t prove anything because it’s secret. Nice little catch 22.

  6. Would the US Federal Government just decide that it can listen to all your private communication without getting a warrant?

    That question doesn’t deserve and answer.

    1. an answer. dambit.


      1. Who it’s for is classified.

  7. Mr. Yosarian. Paging Mr Yosarian. Mr. Yosarian, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

  8. as Gladys replied I didnt know that a person can earn $9385 in a few weeks on the internet. have you seen this site and go to home tab…

  9. With reasons like this, you can’t expect people to not cross that line to an anti government position… Tulpa.

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