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Standing, Mootness, and the 4th...

Art Hale,
ACLU of Michigan
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February 1, 2007

As you have probably heard by now the largest part of the NSA arguments centered around the jurisdictional issues of “Standing” and “Mootness” – two words I NEVER heard before law school (which should give you some idea of how little they have to do with the “law”).

They are important and relevant premises to filing a law suit, addressing the questions of who can file a suit and at what point one can file a suit. but NO, they have NOTHING to do with wiretapping. And this is what government counsel focused his argument on.

While Ann Beeson argued for the ACLU and the Plaintiffs, she steered the argument back to the “merits” of the case – i.e. what the case is actually about!! Privacy! The judges seemed to readily move past her rebuttals to the standing and mootness issue (C’mon judge Gibbons! Get on the bus!). Judge Gibbons did pose a question which has been stuck in my head… something to the effect of “name a Supreme Court case that says that surveillance is a violation of the 4th amendment”. Hmmm.

This question has been running over in my mind, as fresh from both Crim procedure I and II, I feel I should be able to find the answer… so I will hunt… for… something…

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