NSA survellience opinion part two
Here's the section of the opinion dealing with standing to sue. Standing issues are murky at best, but the core is that you can't sue just because you dislike a law or government action, or think it's illegal, you have to prove it inflicts some "concrete harm" upon you. OK, so the government is snooping on international calls, trying to focus on calls to terrorists -- how is that any skin off your nose? From the opinion:
" For example, scholars and journalists such as plaintiffs Tara McKelvey, Larry Diamond, and Barnett Rubin indicate that they must conduct extensive research in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and must communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations. 12 In addition, attorneys Nancy Hollander, William Swor, Joshua Dratel, Mohammed Abdrabboh, and Nabih Ayad indicate that they must also communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations, 13 and must discuss confidential information over the phone and email with their international clients. 14 All of the Plaintiffs contend that the TSP has caused clients, witnesses and sources to discontinue their communications with plaintiffs out of fear that their communications will be intercepted. 15 They also allege injury based on the increased financial burden they incur in having to travel substantial distances to meet personally with their clients and others relevant to their cases. 16
the court need not speculate upon the kind of activity the Plaintiffs want to engage in - they want to engage in conversations with individuals abroad without fear that their First Amendment rights are being infringed upon. Therefore, this court concludes that Plaintiffs have satisfied the requirement of alleging “actual or threatened injury” as a result of Defendants’ conduct. It must now be determined whether Plaintiffs have shown that there is a causal connection between the injury and the complained of conduct. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560-561. The causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of is fairly traceable to the challenged action of Defendants. The TSP admittedly targets communications originated or terminated outside the United States where a party to such communication is in the estimation of Defendants, a member of al Qaeda, a member of a group affiliated with al Qaeda, or an agent of al Qaeda or its affiliates. 23 The injury to the Plaintiffs stems directly from the TSP and their injuries can unequivocally be traced to the TSP."
Capitol Hill Blue quotes a law prof saying the opinion indicates that impeachable offenses were committed. Somehow, if I were a Demo legislator, I'd find some other issue to talk about. The court finds concrete injury because terrorists can't safely make phone calls, and people in the US who want to communicate with a terrorist are put to the trouble of leaving the US to talk in person. Oh, and ACLU sued because it has members who want to freely call terrorists overseas. Yup, that's an issue which is going to have Americans crying "outrage!" and storming the White House.
But then we are talking a major political party, in a time in which elections seem to be determined by which party does the less competent job of committing ritual suicide.