Today the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments this October in an intriguing case on the scope of government surveillance powers. A provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) establishes a new framework for U.S. intelligence agencies to apply for court orders authorizing wiretap-style or covert monitoring of foreigners abroad.
A group of journalists, attorneys, and public-interest organizations filed suit in federal court, arguing this provision of FISA is unconstitutional. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York held that the plaintiffs could bring the lawsuit. The U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition to hear the case, considering only whether these plaintiffs have suffered a sufficiently concrete injury to give them standing to pursue this matter in federal court without demonstrating that the U.S. government has ever used this law against any of them, or will ever do so in the future.
The case is Clapper v. Amnesty International, No. 11-1025.
Breitbart News legal contributor Ken Klukowski is on faculty at Liberty University School of Law and a fellow with the American Civil Rights Union.