Monday, November 18, 2013
Supreme Court Refuses to Grant Extraordinary Writ to Review FISA's Verizon Surveillance Order
In its routine order list today, the Court's list of "MANDAMUS DENIED" included "13-58 - IN RE ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER."
The petition for writ of mandamus and prohibition or writ of certiorari was filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and essentially sought review of an Order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The order redacts the names of the parties from whom the "tangible things" are sought, but the petition describes the order as compelling "Verizon Business Network Services to produce to the National Security Agency, on an ongoing basis, all of the call detail records of Verizon customers."
As one of its Questions Presented, the petition stated:
Whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court exceeded its narrow statutory authority to authorize foreign intelligence surveillance, under 50 U.S.C. § 1861, when it ordered Verizon to disclose records to the National Security Agency for all telephone communications “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”
The import of the Supreme Court's denial is both trivial and momentous. On the one hand, there is little if anything to be read into the Court's refusal to exercise its highly discretionary power to grant a petition for a writ as it does in 1% of cases. On the other hand, there is something to be inferred about the Court's interest in and willingness to supervise the unusual FISA given constitutional rights.
But the Court's failure to accept the case certainly does not mean the underlying issues will be so easily dispatched.
Recall that Marbury v. Madison involved a specific provision of a statute, the Judiciary Act of 1789. For an argument that the Court did have the power to hear the case, see the Amicus Brief filed by Law Profs Pfander and Vladeck: http://epic.org/privacy/nsa/in-re-epic/Pfander-Vladeck-Amici-Brief.pdf
Posted by: Ruthann Robson | Nov 19, 2013 1:45:10 PM
FIRST AMENDMENT ATTACK UPON ARIZONA HARASSMENT STATUTE
Scott Huminski v. City of Surprise, Arizona (13-7504)
In a filing received by the U.S. Supreme Court, government is portrayed fervently defending a state criminal harassment statute that makes any speech contrary to the government's goals a crime under. AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-2921 (criminal harassment)
Speech that tends to "alarm, annoy or harass" anyone, including government officials and police, is a crime in Arizona. Silencing dissent is the hallmark of a police state.
Petition for Writ of Certiorari here...
No surprise that this statute exists in Arizona. Under the patently unconstitutionally vague and overbroad harassment statute, this Supreme Court litigation is a crime as is this article when read by a resident of Arizona, say … Sheriff Joe Arpaio. No doubt that the litigation and this article tends to "annoy" the Sheriff and like-minded residents of Arizona.
Posted by: scott huminski | Nov 26, 2013 5:52:35 AM
Didn't Marbury find SCOTUS didn't have original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus?
Posted by: Jeff | Nov 18, 2013 2:57:13 PM