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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Tuesday’s ruling pitches the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure into the dustbin of history.
Tuesday’s ruling pitches the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure into the dustbin of history. Photo: Library of Congress.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court disemboweled the Fourth Amendment. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that citizens cannot challenge government wiretapping laws, in particular the unconstitutional Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and, more recently, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.
According to Justice Samuel Alito, millions of Americans can no longer expect the government to uphold the Constitution and prevent the NSA from conducting dragnet surveillance.
FISA is a near perfect scheme for the government. It allows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to rubber-stamp surveillance requests of supposed terrorists (the Justice Department claims there are over a million terrorists in America). The feds are not obliged to identify a target and they can conduct surveillance a week before making a FISA Court request. Surveillance can continue in the unlikely event that a request is denied and an appeal is set in motion.