Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Standing to Challenge NSA Surveillance

Standing is a concept in American jurisprudence in which a party has the right to make a legal claim. In general, an individual or organization filing the suit must demonstrate that they have suffered an actual injury due to the conduct in question. The standing rule prevents, in many cases, lawsuits filed on behalf of others. The standing rule also prevents lawsuits by a party that has not suffered an actual injury, but the potential for injury exists. For instance, the fact that the National Security Agency is conducting a surveillance program, along with the mere possibility that a specific individual might be caught up in the dragnet, is potentially insufficient to meet the standing criteria without evidence that the specific individual actually was impacted by the surveillance. 

Before the United States Supreme Court this month is the case of Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, in which the plaintiffs seek prospective relief from the NSA surveillance program called "Stellar Wind". The following link is to a page maintained by the American Bar Association on the case.

Clapper v. Amnesty International USA

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