Supreme Court Takes on Govt. Surveillance Case
Justices reject file-sharing case
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 21, 2012 12:20 PM CDT
In this March 28, 2012 file photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court is taking on the heightened government surveillance that's sparked a furor since the 9/11 attacks. Justices will determine the validity of a 2008 law that has allowed the government to keep a closer eye on international communications, the New York Times reports. Activists, lawyers, and journalists say the law has given the government license to stick its nose in their phone calls and emails. Officials argue that the plaintiffs haven't suffered damages that give them clear grounds to sue; a US appeals court disagreed.

In other high court news:

  • Justices won't hear the case of a Boston University student who was fined $675,000 for illegally downloading and sharing 30 songs, the AP reports. A federal judge called the fine unfairly large, but an appeals court approved it.
  • Justices unanimously agreed that his parents' immigration status couldn't protect a man from deportation for crimes. Carlos Martinez Gutierrez was brought to the US as a kid by his parents, who immigrated legally.
  • The court also unanimously ruled that children conceived through artificial insemination after the biological father's death weren't entitled to government survivor benefits.