Yesterday, the Supreme Court held that a group of journalists, lawyers, and human rights organizations did not have the standing to challenge FISA on Fourth Amendment grounds, since they could not prove that what they alleged to be a violation of their rights was “certainly impending,” something they of course could not prove because the targets of the program are secret. The opinion was written by reasonable, moderate, thinking persons’s authoritarian Sam Alito, who despite his implacable hostility to civil liberties claims is bound to turn into Harry Blackmun soon. I don’t agree with the drive by the Court’s Republicans to deny standing (for plaintiffs whose claims they don’t like on substantive grounds) in any case, but to argue that the very secrecy of the government’s warrantless wiretapping program should insulate it from constitutional challenge is some sort of new low for the Roberts Court.
See also Rochelle Bobroff and Adam Bonin. Greenwald is also correct to point out that the Court endorsed the Obama administration’s position here, although again 1)the opening assumption that the Obama administration “convinced” the Court’s five Republican appointees to adopt long-standing reactionary views on standing and (de facto) the Fourth Amendment is implausible in the extreme, 2)the biggest impact Obama has on this case is through his Supreme Court nominees, both of whom voted correctly despite the administration’s endorsement of the authoritarian position.