NSA Metadata Survellience – Unconstitutional

On December 16, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a landmark decision on the NSA survellience of American citizens in Klayman et. al vs. Obama et. al. (“Klayman”).

Legal Insurrection’s (@LegInsurrection) Summary

A federal judge in D.C. has found parts of the NSA metadata surveillance program to violate the 4th Amendment.  The judge issued a preliminary injunction, but stayed his decision pending appeal.  While many people are taking the decision as obvious, in fact the Judge had to weave his way around Supreme Court precedent and other court decisions to the contrary.  Celebrations that the decision will hold up are premature.


  • Plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality and statutory authorization of intelligence-gathering practices by the US government relating to wholesale collection of phone record metadata on ALL US citizens within the US via telecommunications companies
  • Defendants include US government and executive officials, telecommunications firms and their executives

Key Findings

  • Plaintiffs have standing to challenge the constitutionality of the government’s actions
  • Plaintiffs have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on their Fourth Amendment arguments
  • Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm without preliminary injunctive relief

Order is Stayed

The Court stayed the injunction pending appeal because of “significant national security issues”.

Disagreement with the Court’s Conclusion

In it’s conclusion, the District Court stated:

…The Government, in its understandable zeal to protect our homeland, has crafted a counterterrorism program with respect to telephone metadata that strikes the balance based in large part on a thirty-four year old Supreme Court precedent…

In my opinion, if the Government had zeal to protect our homeland, they would ratchet up enforcement of our immigration laws, complete the border fence required by law, reverse Obama’s stand down orders on border enforcement and deport illegal aliens at a rapid pace.  Instead, the Government, under specific orders from Obama, have left our homeland vulnerable to terrorist attacks  Cases in point:

You can read the full court decision here.

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