Appeals Court Won't Rule on Domestic Spying

Panel KOs warrantless wiretapping case on procedural grounds
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2007 5:27 PM CDT
President Bush Visits NSA Headquarters   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Although it raises a "cascade of serious questions," a federal appeals court will not hear a case about the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program because the plaintiffs can't prove they've suffered direct harm. In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit court dismissed the case, brought by the ACLU and several other parties, without addressing its merits, the Times reports.

Today's decision vacates a 2006 district court ruling that the program was unconstitutional. Because the surveillance program is highly classified, the objects of the wiretapping have had difficulty proving that it affects them. "This is a Catch-22," an ACLU lawyer told the AP. The plaintiffs are considering their options, which include an appeal to the Supreme Court.