Judge flips switch on ‘Orwellian’ spying of Americans

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon nearly two years ago found that the program likely violates the U.S. Constitution and ordered it to stop. He then put a hold on his ruling to allow the government to appeal.


Now that the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals has disagreed with Leon’s findings and returned the case to him, he will make a ruling on access to evidence in the case.


A large part of the case is over the NSA program’s secrecy. The appeals court said the plaintiffs couldn’t specifically prove their own telephone records were seized by the government, so they couldn’t sue.


But they cannot obtain access to such evidence without a case pending.


The appeals court said the case needed to be returned to Leon, ordering him to review whether “limited discovery” is available to the plaintiffs.


Their attorney, Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, who was joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for National Security Studies in his arguments, seeks to stop the NSA’s mass collection of telephone data.


The plaintiffs contended that such a bulk collection of data constitutes “an unlawful search under the Fourth Amendment.”


Read More: Judge flips switch on ‘Orwellian’ spying of Americans