The US Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the National Security Agency’s global surveillance program from advocacy group the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
The EPIC plea was filed directly in the Court, without prior lower court action. The group requested that the Justices direct a judge of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to vacate an order he issued in April requiring a branch of the telephone giant Verizon to turn over to the government a vast array of data, including sweeps of U.S. telephone calls and Internet exchanges. The Court very rarely grants such a “writ of mandamus or prohibition.”
EPIC had contended that no other court was open to hear a challenge to orders of the FIS Court, so the Supreme Court should consider its case now. The Justice Department had answered that EPIC could attempt to pursue its case in lower courts first, although the government has attempted to thwart review of previous challenges.
In issuing a series of orders on Monday, the Court granted no new cases. It also did not refer any cases to the U.S. Solicitor General for the government’s reaction. It had granted review of two cases on Friday. Source: ScotusBlog