Obama Admin Tries to Block Supreme Court Review of NSA Spying

The Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court not to hear a challenge to the National Security Agency’s telephone records collection program.

In July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a nonprofit that focuses on civil liberties and privacy, filed a petition to the Court, saying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court overstepped its bounds in ordering Verizon to give the NSA all telephone communications “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls,” and as such should halt this disclosure.  EPIC’s petition marked the first NSA challenge brought to the Supreme Court; other challenges to NSA surveillance brought by civil liberties groups have targeted a lower court.

In June, the Guardian revealed the existence of this program, based on leaks from Edward Snowden.  The paper reported:

On Monday, the Solicitor General filed a brief in response to EPIC’s petition, urging the Court not to hear the case, saying it lacked jurisdiction.

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In addition, Josh Gerstein reports,

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