James R. Clapper Jr. v. Amnesty International USA
(opposing FISA’s secret warrantless spying on U.S. citizens)

admin Searches and Seizures

This case involved a challenge, by attorneys sometimes representing foreign persons, to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Amendments of 2008, involving the government spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant.  The lower court dismissed the case, finding the plaintiffs lacked standing, but the Second Circuit reversed.  The Government sought U.S. Supreme Court review.

CLDEF, in its amicus curiae brief in support of respondents, reasserted the property basis of the Fourth Amendment, arguing that FISA was violating the plaintiffs’ property rights by listening to their phone calls, reading their emails, etc.  Furthermore, CLDEF argued that senior governmental officials cannot hide behind the standing doctrine to insulate their actions from judicial review.

On February 26, 2013, by a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled that the respondents lacked legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Act.

CLDEF Amicus Curiae Brief (September 24, 2012)

SCOTUSblog Case Page

Oral Argument (October 29, 2012) transcript

U.S. Supreme Court Opinion