July 6, 2007 | By Hugh D'Andrade

Split Decision Appeals Court Rules Against ACLU on NSA Wiretapping

A federal appeals court handed down a defeat for your civil liberties on Friday, ordering the dismissal of the ACLU?s case challenging the NSA?s warrantless wiretapping program. In a ">2-1 ruling, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals found that the plaintiffs, attorneys and journalists who had stopped communicating with their foreign clients and sources for fear of illegal wiretapping, did not have legal standing to sue. The case was based on the President?s admissions about the warrantless wiretapping.

Judge Ronald Gilman dissented, finding the warrantless surveillance program violated the law, and rejecting the President's assertion of inherent Constitutional authority to break laws in the name of national security.

The court?s decision threw out an order by a federal judge in Detroit in 2006, which found the NSA?s Terrorist Surveillance Program ?violates the Separation of Powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III.?

EFF has sued AT&T on behalf of its customers for the telecommunications giant?s role in the NSA's illegal spying, which we allege goes beyond what the President has directly admitted and intercepts the phone and Internet communications of millions of ordinary Americans. Last summer, Judge Walker rejected the government's motion to dismiss EFF's case, along with AT&T's motion to dismiss, and allowed the case to go forward. That ruling is on appeal and will be heard by the 9th Circuit on August 15, 2007 in San Francisco.


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