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ACLU, NYCLU in Court Friday in Challenge to Warrantless Surveillance Law

The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union will be in federal appeals court in New York on Friday to argue in a lawsuit challenging an unconstitutional government spying law should be reinstated. The ACLU and the NYCLU filed the landmark lawsuit in July 2008 to stop the government from conducting surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to sweep up Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union will be in federal appeals court in New York on Friday to argue in a lawsuit challenging an unconstitutional government spying law should be reinstated. The ACLU and the NYCLU filed the landmark lawsuit in July 2008 to stop the government from conducting surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to sweep up Americans’ international e-mails and telephone calls.

U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York dismissed the case in August on “standing” grounds, ruling that the plaintiffs did not have the right to challenge the new surveillance law because they could not prove with certainty that their own communications had been monitored. According to the ACLU, the vast majority of people whose communications are intercepted under the FAA will never know about it, so under Judge Koeltl’s ruling, the law may never be challenged in court. The ACLU is asking the appellate court to overturn Judge Koeltl’s ruling.

More information about the ACLU’s lawsuit, including a video featuring Jaffer and plaintiffs talking about the case, is available online at: www.aclu.org/faa

WHAT:
Arguments in the ACLU and NYCLU’s challenge to the FISA Amendments Act, asking a federal appeals court to reinstate a lawsuit that was dismissed in August because the plaintiffs could not prove they had been spied on

WHO:
Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU National Security Project, will argue before Judges Guido Calabresi, Gerard Lynch and Robert Sack of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

WHEN:
10 a.m. Friday, April 16

WHERE:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Ceremonial Courtroom, 9th Floor
500 Pearl St. in New York

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