September 18, 2013
BENJAMIN WITTES AND JANE CHONG: Congress Has No Clothes: A Quick and Dirty Summary of the New FISC Opinion.
Up until now, we have had orders from the FISC requiring the production of metadata. And we have had government statements—a major speech and a white paper—in defense of the government’s (and the court’s) reading of 215. But we have not had any of the FISC opinions explaining the court’s actual reasoning regarding why this collection does not violate the Fourth Amendment and why it is consistent with the statute. Judge Claire Eagan’s opinion lays this out in a crisp, readable 29 pages.
Her opinion does something else too: It makes clear that Congress has nowhere to hide on this issue and that members cannot pretend to have had no idea of what NSA has been up to.