Supreme Court Throws Out Challenge to Government Electronic Surveillance

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
02/27/2013
       
Supreme Court Throws Out Challenge to Government Electronic Surveillance

A 5-4 majority threw out a challenge to the law authorizing the federal government to monitor and record electronic communication of all citizens.

The conversion of the United States into a type of "prison" with the inmates under the constant surveillance of the government "jailers" is progressing quickly; this time, with the help of the Supreme Court.

By a 5-4 decision on Tuesday, the court rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of government wiretaps and monitoring of citizens’ e-mails, telephone calls, and electronic messages. Those targeted for the surveillance are not suspected of committing any crime, so searching their communications is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment protects “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures....”

The case before the court was Clapper v. Amnesty International.

The likely effect of this decision, the New York Times reports, will be that “the Supreme Court will never rule on the constitutionality of that 2008 law.”

The law in question is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments (FISA) passed by Congress in 2008. FISA was recently renewed by Congress and will not expire until 2017.

The FISA Amendments Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 10, 2008 after being overwhelmingly passed 293 to 129 in the House and 69-28 in the Senate. Just a couple of days prior to FISA being enacted, Representative Ron Paul led a coalition of Internet activists united to create a political action committee, Accountability Now. The sole purpose of the PAC was to conduct a money bomb in order to raise money to purchase ad buys to alert voters to the names of those congressmen (Republican and Democratic) who voted in favor of the act.

George W. Bush’s signature was but the public pronouncement of the ersatz legality of the wiretapping that was otherwise revealed to the public in a New York Times article published on December 16, 2005. That article, entitled “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts,” described the brief history of the “anti-terrorist” program:

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo of United States Supreme Court building

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