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U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Rule On Constitutionality of Bulk Surveillance

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the try-again-later dept.

The Courts 141

An anonymous reader writes "On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's bulk acquisition and storage of phone record metadata. The petition (PDF) for a Supreme Court ruling was submitted as a result of U.S. District Judge Richard Leon staying his ruling (PDF), pending an appeal, in a suit in which he concluded that collection of phone metadata without probable cause violated the Fourth Amendment. The plaintiffs had bypassed the federal appeals court and applied directly to the high court, given Judge Leon's admission that the case had significant national security interests at stake. The Supreme Court's decision not to rule on the case means that an appeal will need to be submitted to the federal appeals court as per protocol, but there is speculation that the mass surveillance issue will likely be addressed in the legislative and executive branches of government before the judicial branch weighs in. The provision allowing the bulk collection, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, expires June 1, 2015.'"

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141 comments

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Obama's a lame duck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689003)

Should that make me happy or scared?

Re:Obama's a lame duck (3, Informative)

Kuroji (990107) | about 5 months ago | (#46689945)

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Constitutional Court (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689017)

"U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of "

Seems like the US needs a Constitutional Court who rule on nothing else but constitutional matters, and cannot decline.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689083)

I second that motion, we need to get the system fixed. We need a anonymous way of communicating and making sure we have the populus accounted for. We bearly need representatives that oviously do not represent the well being of the republic or even the interests of the majority.

Re:Constitutional Court (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#46689169)

Not only are they a court purchased by corporate interests, they are intellectually weak and the lack any courage to do the right thing.

Re:Constitutional Court (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689751)

no, they have the courage to do the right thing and allow the appellate court to rule. The only time a level of appeal should be skipped is when there are differing opinions extant at the many appellate courts.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 5 months ago | (#46690301)

I'm afraid this is not true. An appellate court, presented with a singular case, can make a wrong decision. That means appealing to the Supreme Court, especially ofr issues of constitutional law or refinement of previous Supreme Court precedents which are being misapplied.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 5 months ago | (#46692413)

Well, thats the rumour/excuse anyway...

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689855)

I'm not sure if it matters, since most of my posts to / are deleted anyway.

Just like almost everything else in the US gov... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689951)

Not only are they a court purchased by corporate interests, they are intellectually weak and the lack any courage to do the right thing.

The SCOTUS functions just like all their compatriots in other departments of the United States government.

They have been bought over, that's all.

So far, the end for the "Land of Liberty, Home of the Brave" has already arrived.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690013)

Not only are they a court purchased by corporate interests, they are intellectually weak and the lack any courage to do the right thing.

You make some interesting assertions but you provide no evidence or even arguments to support your claims. Not sure how you got a +5 insughtful.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Uberbah (647458) | about 5 months ago | (#46691029)

That's like asking for evidence that water is wet, when the top three wingers on the court (Roberts, Alito and Thomas) have never ruled against a corporation in favor of the citizen, or for the citizen and against George W. Obama on matters of "national security". And Scalia is almost as bad. Throw in Kennedy or one of the rotating sellouts (Soto/Kagan/Ginsburg) and it's an easy 5-4 majority every time.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46691783)

Not only are they a court purchased by corporate interests, they are intellectually weak and the lack any courage to do the right thing.

You make some interesting assertions but you provide no evidence or even arguments to support your claims. Not sure how you got a +5 insughtful.

How about this [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46692773)

They wanted to be intellectually strong, but their corporate masters said no.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689223)

They already decided that collection of telephone call metadata without a warrant was constitutional in the 1970s, so I imagine as far as they were concerned, this was ok.

Re:Constitutional Court (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 5 months ago | (#46689267)

That is one of the few mistakes our founders made. Allowing the court to ignore cases.

Re:Constitutional Court (5, Informative)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 5 months ago | (#46689479)

That is one of the few mistakes our founders made. Allowing the court to ignore cases.

Obviously you didn't read the article, nor understand the summary.

The court did not ignore the case. There is a procedure. It starts at the circuit court. Then it goes through the appeals court, usually first with panel of 3, then the full appeals court. The SCOTUS is the final level of appeals.

The process works as a vetting and refining system. The SCOTUS only gets involved in situations where different appeals courts have used differing standards or when there are certain controversial or seemingly contradictory situations. The district judge wanted to get around the procedures. It is very rarely successful except in cases where urgency is required and the implications are severe, such as the 'hanging chads' controversy. The court disagreed, wanting the case to go through the normal process.

As with every issue that is a political hot topic, the SCOTUS will tend to wait to give congress a chance to address this before ruling. Often when Congress amends the law while a case is in progress, the appeal will simply remand it back to the district court with an order to follow the revised law rather than the old law.

As of now, in the DC court, his initial ruling (that the bulk collection is unconstitutional) still stands, even though he put in a stay (delay before carrying out the order) in order to allow for appeals. If he felt so strongly he could have not accepted the stay, which would mean the government would need to implement the order immediately and the feds would have needed to petition for an emergency stay from a higher court.

Right now the ruling is that the collection is unlawful. With the appeal denied so far, that decision stands. That is what we want, so don't complain about it.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about 5 months ago | (#46689533)

Obviously you didn't read the article

No, and i should not need to. if i do, then why bother having a news aggregation page with summaries in the first place?

Re:Constitutional Court (2)

oraclese (1039520) | about 5 months ago | (#46689777)

Obviously you didn't read the article

No, and i should not need to. if i do, then why bother having a news aggregation page with summaries in the first place?

You must be new here...

Re:Constitutional Court (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 months ago | (#46690193)

Well, I got it from the summary.

The plaintiffs had bypassed the federal appeals court and applied directly to the high court, given Judge Leon's admission that the case had significant national security interests at stake. The Supreme Court's decision not to rule on the case means that an appeal will need to be submitted to the federal appeals court as per protocol,

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46691153)

The process works as a vetting and refining system.

No, often it doesn't. That's why there are wholly unconstitutional laws on the books that have been through the process all the way to the SCOTUS, where they were simply rubber stamped, or perhaps not so simply, held up with the most sophist, ridiculous reasoning one could imagine. Even when the decision goes the right way (rarely), reading some of the reasoning is a guarantee of forehead-slapping -- even tears if you really care for our country. Now we're stuck with the abominations of bad law, as "the process" makes it very hard to get something that's been to the SCOTUS reviewed again, and with the court as corrupt as it is, what's the point anyway? We are so fucked.

All that's left is to keep your head down and avoid the justice system like the plague it has become. Once you are in the gears, you are well and truly out of luck, and the only option remaining is apply money wide and fast, presuming you're one of the lucky few that has enough to do so.

Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689521)

Actually, they didn't make that mistake. Article III of the constitution says nothing about this one way or the other. The Supreme Court decides its own procedures for reviewing cases. In this case they're not ignoring the case, merely saying that it must still go to the appeals court first, which is the normal procedure. I agree, however, that there should be some procedure in which another branch of government (legislature, executive, or a combination) could force the Supreme Court to consider an important case now, rather than later. Good luck getting a constitutional amendment that allows that.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46691191)

Good luck getting a constitutional amendment

FTFY

Re:Constitutional Court (2)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#46689661)

You do realize there were almost 2 million federal cases last year? Even if the Supreme Court was in session 24/7 for the entire years, they'd have to hear arguments, rule, and write an opinion every 20 seconds to avoid ignoring any of them.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 5 months ago | (#46690121)

That is one of the few mistakes our founders made.

Another was to assume that subsequent political leaders would have the same personal integrity as they did and would strive to uphold the basic principles of the Constitution.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#46690245)

That is one of the few mistakes our founders made.

Another was to assume that subsequent political leaders would have the same personal integrity as they did and would strive to uphold the basic principles of the Constitution.

The Constitution was being ignored almost before the ink was dry on the Bill of Rights with even Jefferson prosecuting people with laws that he thought unconstitutional. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Constitutional Court (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 5 months ago | (#46689745)

Not really no.

By declining to take up the matter they can do so with comment (basically saying why they don't think it belongs) or they can say nothing and let lower court rulings stand.

They are the last arbiters of the constitution, not the first, if they agree completely with a lower courts interpretation then they don't need to say anything, the lower court stands.

Imagine this scenario. The government of a US state passes a law that prohibits carrying signs for protesting. Someone gets arrested, goes to court, the court tosses the law as being a clear violation of free speech. The government could try and appeal to a higher court (districts that would eventually lead to the supreme court). But if a higher court looks at it, and declines to take it, then the lower court ruling holds - passing a law against carrying signs is unconstitutional, and that is established in precedent in the law. Someone could try and appeal in future and it might get taken up by a future court, but it doesn't need to go directly to the supreme court because the supreme court is really the top of a pyramid of courts, and only need to take up a case if it's the lower court may have erred in its ruling.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#46690269)

In Canada sometimes the government will ask the Supreme Court for an opinion on the Constitutionality of a law before it gets signed. Much better then passing laws of questionable constitutionality and letting people suffer until it works its way up the chain of appeals courts.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690797)

The U.S. SCOTUS can't do that. The constitution demands it be a case or controversy. That's t means no speculative opinions. Muskrat.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 5 months ago | (#46691269)

Can they not ask some legal scholars for opinion rather than the Supreme Court? It seems weird to ask a court if something is legal or not before you do it. You ask a lawyer.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 5 months ago | (#46691427)

Then they'd be asking themselves and marking their own homework. Isn't Obama a lawyer who specialised in the Constitution? That's worked out well.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 5 months ago | (#46691631)

Very telling about how much actual knowledge one needs to be a college professor, isn't it?

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#46691497)

The Supreme Court is the final arbitrator of what is constitutional so who better to give an opinion? The alternative is to pass the law, people get charged, go to court with all the hassles, perhaps get convicted and go to jail, eventually someone can afford the legal costs of multiple appeals until the law is thrown out, perhaps by a Provincial Supreme Court or Court of Appeals with the Supreme Court declining to hear the case or perhaps by the Supreme Court itself.
There are also issues of Federal vs Provincial jurisdiction, better to resolve the issue early then late. The court does not have to give an opinion such as when asked whether same sex marriages were constitutionally necessary. As the government had already announced that they were legalizing it, the courts opinion didn't matter so they didn't waste time on it.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 5 months ago | (#46691573)

I think you're asking the wrong question. Why wouldn't you use the Supreme Court? They're the body that's ultimately in charge of deciding whether it's constitutional or not. What's bizarre is choosing to use a third-party lawyer arbitrarily. Just so that you can say you didn't use the Supreme Court?

The US has determined the their constitution forbids federal courts from issuing advisory opinions. Some states do the same as Canada though with their state supreme courts.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46691145)

Seems like the US needs a Constitutional Court who rule on nothing else but constitutional matters, and cannot decline.

No we don't. We have one, it's called FISA, they never decline, and they always rule whatever the current administration is doing as "constitutional."

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 5 months ago | (#46691605)

They only declined to expedite the case by having it skip the normal appeals process; they did not decline to hear it at all. And, as the case now stands, a decline to hear or reverse the lower court means that the NSA loses as that is what the lower court decided.

You see, sometimes declining to hear is just a way of saying the outcome is so obvious and the lower courts already got it right so stop wasting our time.

Re:Constitutional Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46692407)

Whats the difference? SCOTUS is obviously either paid or threatened to uphold whatever is convenient for the Federal government and sold us out long, long ago.
Dont believe it? Pull your head out of your ass and look around.

Re:Constitutional Court (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46692765)

Seems like the US needs a Constitutional Court who rule on nothing else but constitutional matters, and cannot decline.

And confiscate the rubber stamp of any judge appointed to it.

Damages (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 months ago | (#46689059)

Here's another article I read today
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/03/27/obamas-nsa-reform-package-may-hamstring-privacy-lawsuits [usnews.com]

Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, unlike other challengers, seeks damages from Verizon and U.S. officials â" which may keep his two cases alive, experts say. Cases brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., do not seek damages.

The request for past damages means that his lawsuit can't be mooted by legislative changes.
All the other lawsuits are only asking for injuctions, and Congress can make them go away.

Re:Damages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689551)

Even if they are challenging the constitutionality of the law? How can congress make it go away without getting a constitutional amendment ratified? Or are the EFF and ACLU lawsuits not based on the 4th amendment, and if that's the case, why not?

Re:Damages (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 5 months ago | (#46690661)

"How can congress make it go away without getting a constitutional amendment ratified?"

By repealing the law authorizing the activity claimed to be unconstitutional. STOPPING unconstitutional activity does not require a constitutional amendment.

At that point any further action on the injunction is moot, since the law would then match what the injunction is asking for.

Please NOTE... (0)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46689733)

Damages in court speak means $$$...

so damn your rights, if you haven't lost the almighty dollar....

and this my dear gun control advocates, is why we need our friggin guns...NOT for hunting. Because when it goes beyond data collection to people collection, we need means beyond a court that enable us to VETO.

And if you say it will never come to that, please let me point out that you 1D10T5 erred when you said it would never come to universal surveillance either.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 5 months ago | (#46689991)

You have guns, they have tanks. Enjoy.

Re:Please NOTE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690105)

You're a fucking dunce. The Vietcong, Iraqi and Afghani insurgents didn't have tanks and they killed a combined tens of thousands of US soldiers. Enjoy your shallow grave coward.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 5 months ago | (#46690945)

Enjoy your predator drones flown by an enemy that doesn't give a shit about holding territitory as long as it can kill your ass any time of the day or night, 'O clutcher of Tiger Stones.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46690149)

There are around 300 million firearms in the United States. The US military has under 8000 armored vehicles that could even remotely considered "tanks"

If the people of the united states rose up against their government, it would be no contest. The military would lose very quickly. This is the point of the Right to bare arms. There can be no military coup in this country while the populace is so armed.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 months ago | (#46690203)

Can ANY of those 300 million firearms disable ONE of those "tanks".

Maybe if they all fired at the same time.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 5 months ago | (#46690261)

Check out the roguesci lab sometimes..I'm not going to elaborate.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 5 months ago | (#46690371)

Armed infantry. or guerrillas, can destroy the fuel supplies, supply lines, and the personnel who reload and refuel the tanks. Tanks require far, far more fuel, maintenance, and much larger ammunition depots than ground troops. Basically, if you can engage in effective guerrilla warfare, you can defeat an artillery based army. Take a good look at the history of invasions of Russia and Afghanistan for particularly effective ground forces versus armor historical combats.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#46690467)

Thats the question, with todays computerized lists, decades of state and federal informants, interconnected fusion centres and war hardened troops all that you need is flimsy legality of local door to door searches.
A knock on the door to surrender all now listed 'illegal' hardware. A truck waiting for a drive to a local reeducation camp would be quick solution for many.
Any people not understanding the lawful request to comply would be re interviewed and their complex views taken into consideration by teams with different skills.
At a later time flat empty blocks of land will become available at affordable prices for redevelopment with local tax breaks.
The past owners having moved away during difficult economic times a few years ago...

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

will_die (586523) | about 5 months ago | (#46692643)

Considering how good Molotov cocktail worked on WW 2 tanks would be interesting to see how they do on a modern tank. So if anyone wants to try please do it on an un maned tank and you tube it.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#46690465)

Don't be daft. 1/3rd will rise up, 1/3rd will take the side of government and 1/3rd will be indifferent, any other split would see elections being able to solve things. End result will be something like Democrats vs Republicans, red states vs blue states or rich vs poor. Just look at the tea party and the occupy movements, both demonized by the press, government and in public opinion. Or look at the history of the USA, Washington used the Army to put down the Whiskey rebellion successfully, Lincoln used the army to force the south back into the Union successfully. In both cases the army didn't even have much of an advantage when it came to arms.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 5 months ago | (#46692665)

There are around 300 million firearms in the United States.

Of which, only about what 1000 can be expected to rise up in rebellion, and be summarily put down.

But by all means, keep serving the myth that america is more free because small arms are widely available. By believing this myth you support the continued reign of the oligarchs and their attempts to suppress the rule of the people. After all, why do the hard work of protesting when you can just claim that your freedom is upheld by guns you will never use? Continue to comfort yourself with the lie.

Re:Please NOTE... (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 5 months ago | (#46690675)

"so damn your rights"

The EFF, ACLU, and Rand Paul asked for an injunction, and they got it.

Need to follow the proper approach (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 5 months ago | (#46689069)

Someone needs to bring a suit through the lower Federal courts and the appellate level. That's how to have a chance of getting a Supreme Court review.

I know very little with regards to this stuff, only that the Supreme Court rarely hears cases directly (the Bush Jr./Gore election was one time that I know of).

Re:Need to follow the proper approach (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 5 months ago | (#46689257)

If you read the summary in the /. post that you commented on, you would have seen that someone did bring the suit before a lower court. The lower court ruled that the practice was unconstitutional, but stayed their judgement on appeal as they knew it would be appealed. That being said, usually when the Supreme Court denies hearing a case, it means that the last ruling was the correct ruling. However, in this case, the plaintiffs simply need to appeal to the full appellate court.

Re:Need to follow the proper approach (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 5 months ago | (#46689329)

Read the summary! What is this? Slashdot?

I gleaned over the summary, noticing the lack of a full appeal. That's what was missing in my opinion (IANAL opinion, call it one cent...) and the only thing I wanted to raise attention to.

Re:Need to follow the proper approach (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#46690355)

A few different groups tried that with very skilled lawyers and had some success.
http://www.freedomwatchusa.org... [freedomwatchusa.org]
The problem now is a new legal limbo - you can have all the Fourth Amendment you want but NSA color of law efforts have ensured your US domestic/international network use fair game.
Your legal protections cannot be weakened, removed and still stand but the NSA seems to have ensured no timely legal remedy from a vast long term illegal domestic surveillance network.
Many people saw a vast illegal domestic surveillance network forming as a US digital Berlin Wall and hoped they would end up the west with court rulings.
With US legal indifference to an illegal domestic surveillance network and no firm legal support on the Fourth Amendment: welcome to the new legal selective, color of law side of US history.

Go back & get the stay lifted (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689071)

Ya want to see some action here? The plaintiffs should go back to judge Leon asking him to lift his stay. Since the Supreme's clearly don't view this as some kind of 'crisis' situation that needed their attention it is therefore logical that it isn't important enough to require a stay of the original ruling. If Leon lifted his stay the defendants would be appealing & moving the case forward far faster than the plaintiffs would.

Re:Go back & get the stay lifted (5, Informative)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 5 months ago | (#46689623)

That is what the judge wrote in his order. The court order makes for some intense reading compared to most rulings.

The last paragraph in his order is about as strict as he could word it: I hereby give the Government fair notice that should my ruling be upheld, this order will go into effect forthwith. Accordingly, I fully expect that during the appellate process, which will consume at least the next six months, the Government will take whatever steps necessary to comply with this order when, and if, it is upheld. Suffice it to say, requesting further time to comply with this order months from now will not be well received and could result in collateral sanctions. /Signed/ RICHARD J. LEON, United States District Judge.

If he removed the stay he would need to allow the government time to implement the changes. This way the clock is already ticking.

Taxes? (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 5 months ago | (#46689121)

Since the 4th is out the window, they cannot have the 16th without violating the 13th. Then again it has to be taken as a whole or the contract of the 'governed' is void.

Re:Taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690207)

You ain't a lawyer, is ya?

Re:Taxes? (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 5 months ago | (#46690587)

Nope. But it is pretty clear that servitude is not voluntary here.

Utterly gutless (0)

bazmail (764941) | about 5 months ago | (#46689163)

I guess we now know for sure who holds the real power in the US now that the supreme court judges are too cowardly to do their god damned jobs. Are they too busy hearing other cases? What case could be more pressing that allegations of illegal mass surveillance? 300 million victims, and some cowards in robes.

Re:Utterly gutless (2, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#46689189)

They just need more time for their corporate puppetmasters to tell them what to do.. that's all.

Re:Utterly gutless (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 5 months ago | (#46689543)

No they're just delayed with having new rubber stamps made.

Re:Utterly gutless (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 5 months ago | (#46689619)

They just need more time for their corporate puppetmasters to tell them what to do.. that's all.

No, they are doing exactly what their puppet masters want them to do. If they heard the case then they'd have to rule and something might change, not to mention they'd have a really hard time writing an opinion that says the surveillance in question doesn't violate the constitution. Refusing to hear the case means that the status quo is maintained for a while longer.

Re:Utterly gutless (5, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | about 5 months ago | (#46689219)

Or maybe they think that a decision isn't required and the lower courts can solve this. Generally, this would mean either the issue isn't important enough for them, the matter is settled law or the issue has been insufficiently litigated at a lower level. We can rule out the first two. Doesn't mean they won't come back for a bite at it if it is not resolved.

Re:Utterly gutless (1, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 5 months ago | (#46689673)

FTA:

That's because the Supreme Court has taken cases before they went to the federal appellate level. Those disputes, which seemingly pale in comparison to the NSA surveillance at issue, involved the constitutionality of the US Sentencing Commission, the value of a floundering railroad, a coal strike, and the eviction of an Ohio tenant from a housing rental.

So pretty much, they say they take things that seem to have an immediacy. The thing is, not only does this affect everyone with a phone or Internet access, but it is affecting all of us right now. This is not a question over whether or not what the NSA was doing in the past violated the constitution, but that what they are doing right now violates the constitution. Thus providing an example that what they choose to allow to bypass the lower courts has nothing to do with importance, immediacy, or public interest, and everything to do with politics.

Re:Utterly gutless (1)

Lodlaiden (2767969) | about 5 months ago | (#46689831)

Most insightful/informative post I've seen all week.

Re:Utterly gutless (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 5 months ago | (#46690041)

This is not a question over whether or not what the NSA was doing in the past violated the constitution, but that what they are doing right now violates the constitution.

The question is whether or not there is a reason that a final ruling has to be given right now.

How is what the NSA is doing affecting you right now, such that they have to stop immediately? How will a, say, 1 year delay affect you? During that year, are you likely to be deprived of your life? Liberty? A large amount of money?

No? Then it's probably worthwhile to let the system work the way it was intended.

Could you BE any more clueless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46691233)

No? Then it's probably worthwhile to let the system work the way it was intended.

Sure, sure. If he's not affected, it's all good, right? Because the people that are being affected right now can just go fuck off and die in a fire. Particularly if they don't have the money to fight, but in this case, just in general, too. Good thinking there, Sparky. You're a credit to the system: biased, stupid, and lacking either compassion or anything that could remotely be called patriotism.

Re:Utterly gutless (2)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 5 months ago | (#46692343)

How is what the NSA is doing affecting you right now, such that they have to stop immediately?

They're responsible for egregiously violating nearly everyone's rights and the highest law of the land, something that they continue to make worse with each passing day. I can think of nothing more in need of a quick response.

You'd agree, if you cared at all about fundamental liberties.

Re:Utterly gutless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689369)

>300 million victims

More like 3000 million victims...

Time to shoot theses elderly fucks in the head (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689175)

and get a court that will do it's job.

Re:Time to shoot theses elderly fucks in the head (0, Troll)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#46689237)

Scalia should be impeached for prejudging cases.

Thomas should be impeached for open and obvious conflict of interests.

Roberts is an idiot, but I am not sure he's technically done anything wrong. And I read today that Kennedy had roots in the lobbyist industry.

Re:Time to shoot theses elderly fucks in the head (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46689753)

Love to hear your opinion on the rest of the idiots. Considering if it were just those three, they could of chosen to hear this case I believe. So what's your damnable excuse for the other 5 besides petty partisan politics.

If you're still thinking that only the Democrats or only the Republicans are the problem, please realize YOU are the problem.

They're one and the same...

Re:Time to shoot theses elderly fucks in the head (2)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 5 months ago | (#46691673)

And yet they are 3 of the 5 that realized that Chris Matthews* is actually an employee of a corporation and that there is no actual way to distinguish his employer from a documentary film maker so they chose to allow Chris Matthews to continue to be employed by a corporation to do what he does and to let the documentary film maker also continue. However, you and Chris Matthews would be happier if all 9 had agreed that being employed by a corporation meant making no more politically oriented speech so that Chris Matthews would be unemployed.

*Please substitute your favorite reporter/media personality whatever that makes a living by being "the media."

sys.us.judicial.fairness.accountability=0 (1)

c4t3l (3606237) | about 5 months ago | (#46689269)

The United States Government is in breach of contract with its citizens. Where's the effin accountability?!!

This works likes Tennis at US Open I think (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 5 months ago | (#46689271)

You whack the ball back and forth over the net, but you gotta win by two: Advantage, Deuce, Advantage Deuce, Game,. Set, Tie Breaker, Match. Its both the rules of the game and the game of the rules at the very same time. So its not, not just a game. Its not not the law.

Re:This works likes Tennis at US Open I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689417)

You whack the ball back and forth over the net, but you gotta win by two: Advantage, Deuce, Advantage Deuce, Game,. Set, Tie Breaker, Match.

Its both the rules of the game and the game of the rules at the very same time.

So its not, not just a game. Its not not the law.

Actually, it reads more like doublespeak and smells like bullshit.

In other words, Politics 101.

Not to go all 1776 and get old-fashioned here, but just take a look at this opening line:

"the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule on the constitutionality..."

Yeah, let's just stop right there and ask our founding fathers what they think about this pathetic excuse to bow out of something this important to create even more of a bureaucratic mess.

Expiration invalid. (4, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about 5 months ago | (#46689457)

"The provision allowing the bulk collection, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, expires June 1, 2015."
Yeah, right. They'll extend it indefinitely, it will never 'expire'. (Just like all the the other things that were supposed to 'expire'.)

Let's nuke the white house (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689515)

Time for the new revolution!

Re:Let's nuke the white house (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 5 months ago | (#46689689)

Nah, just repaint with Halloween theme because they seem to like scare the kiddies so much on a fear driven economy. Nip it in the bud, burn the money.

SOLUTION (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46689767)

We the citizens make a warrantless search of the White House and the Capitol building....

Seems reasonable (0)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about 5 months ago | (#46689549)

why would search without a warrant be unconstitutional?

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 5 months ago | (#46689763)

Go read the 4th Amendment please.

U.S. CONSTITUTION : AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION : ARTICLE IV

*"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported
by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Re:Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690867)

When it's not "unreasonable." The 4th amendment is very specific about that requirement.

Re:Seems reasonable (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 5 months ago | (#46691239)

The 4th also defines reasonable: "probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"

It doesn't fucking mean that "if you think it's ok, hey, IT'S OK!"

just in time for kodos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689859)

just in time for kodos to take his turn

He he he (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46689861)

The land of freedom, he he he. What a joke.

Re:He he he (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 5 months ago | (#46690067)

I don't think anyone here is laughing, but I believe there is a growing fear that we may not find our way out of the darkness before the bottom falls out of the dollar.

Football analogy (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 5 months ago | (#46690113)

Punt.

You can't pass an unconstitutional law. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690179)

That means that the Patriot act is actually an un-patriotic act - aka - an unconstitutional law.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That includes all internet activity, e-mails, text messages that are intended to be private. ie - if the majority of the people have the expectation of said privacy then that is protected by the 4th Ammendment.

Because of their blatant and iintentional criminal infringement and due to the harm to the people of the United States by said criminals, it is tantamount to treason.

Since our military is on war-time footing, that means that all perpetrators of treason have one penalty... Death.

That means that then entire CIA, NSA, FBI, U.S. Attorney Generals office, the U.S. Supreme Court, The Senate and House of Congress through the President of the United States should turn themselves in for prosecution and summary execution for their treasonous actions.

How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690403)

Someone deglove the tools on the supCt. There needs to be some new blood before the corpratists take control.

Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46690589)

For almost a decade I held and was granted access to above TOP SECRET RUFF information within the USA DoD.

My postal mail, and telephone were regularly accessed as well as all my bank accounts, and securities accounts. Every
financial aspect of my life of on record and "Fuckable" by FBI, IRS and many agencies of the DoD. They did not "Fuck" me !

This was well before the "internet."

Consider this, "I am sitting at a Cafe, I overhear a conservation at a near table, the conservation mentions words of "Kill
the President" "Butt Fuck the President" and "Lets cut off the Penis of the President and make him eat his Penis."

Should I be killed by agents of FBI, IRS, DoI ?

Fuck You !

Marbury v Madison (1)

cpm99352 (939350) | about 5 months ago | (#46691445)

Marbury v Madison [wikipedia.org] was pulled out of the air from the Constitution to define the Judicial branch's power.

So, what is the use of the Supreme Court these days? Certainly Roberts is no Marshall, instead he seems a throwback the original ineffectiveness of the Court.

Just as the Court was extremely courageous in deciding Korematsu [wikipedia.org] only once the war was over, the Supremes appear to wish to sit this one out.

I'd love to hear O'Conners', Thomas', and Scalia's opinions of this milque toast decision.

EU Supreme Court ruling concerning data retention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46692165)

EU Supreme Court ruling concerning data retention today (08 Apr 2014):
http://heise.de/-2165604 (in German)
Will most likely be on
http://www.theguardian.com/world/europe/roundup
soon
In short: Data retention may be feasible in the EU, but current EU law is illegitimate (violates EU citizen's privacy).

You want those 5 Know-nothings to rule on this?? (-1, Troll)

Catbeller (118204) | about 5 months ago | (#46693271)

Don't let those five smug-n-stupid white men rule on any - ANY - matter until one of them dies and we can fix the Reagan/Bush stacking. Wait. Don't let them set precedents. Avoid engagement. They can wreck the future of the human race, as the US is pretty much ruling the world.

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