Judge Rules NSA Phone Program “Likely Unconstitutional”
A federal district court judge ruled today that the NSA’s telephone metadata collection program within the United States is “likely to be unconstitutional.”
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found that the program appears to violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. He also said the Justice Department had failed to demonstrate that collecting the so-called metadata had helped to head off terrorist attacks.
Acting on a lawsuit brought by conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, Leon issued a preliminary injunction barring the NSA from collecting metadata pertaining to the Verizon accounts of Klayman and one of his clients. However, the judge stayed the order to allow for an appeal.
I ain’t no lawyer, but this language — “appears to violate,” “likely unconstitutional” — seems pretty weak, and it doesn’t mean very much unless and until the Supreme Court makes a more definite ruling.
But one thing I can predict: now that he’s sort-of won, Larry Klayman will be even more of a far right jackass.
Larry Klayman | Right Wing Watch