The Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) case against the NSA was not brought before the Supreme Court like they had hoped. In a shocking — or maybe not so shocking — move, the high court declined to hear the case against the National Security Agency (NSA) brought by EPIC. The case targeted the FISA court order that allowed NSA to gather all Verizon’s phone records and wold have been the first major case against the NSA over the issue.
The order issued by the FISA required Verizon to turn over phone records to the NSA that were “wholly within the United States, including local phone calls.” EPIC maintains that the FISA court overstepped it’s authority by issuing the order.
Despite Obama administrations tactics to delay the hearing or have it heard in the lower courts, EPIC stood their ground and insisted that the only court that had the authority to hear the case is the Supreme Court. EPIC’s reason? The order for the phone records originated with the FISA court and no other court had the authority to hear the case.
Even though their case was not heard in the Supreme Court, EPIC’s lead counsel, Alan Butler, has hope that other cases may make their way to the high court. “Now that this secret surveillance program has been disclose,” he said, “and now that the congressional leaders and legal scholars agree it is unlawful, we have a chance for the Supreme Court to weigh in.”
My guess? Every time a similar case hits the legal system, the U.S. government will hit its easy win button: national security.
[via The Verge]