American Civil Liberties Union

Will Virginia join swing towards gay marriage?

Will Virginia join swing towards gay marriage?

Almost overnight, Virginia has emerged as a critical state in the nationwide fight to grant gay men and women the right to wed. This purple state was once perceived as unfriendly and even bordering on hostile to gay rights. That’s changed after a seismic political shift in the top three elected offices, from conservative Republicans […]

Conflicting court rulings on NSA spying on Americans

Conflicting court rulings on NSA spying on Americans

Opposing court rulings on the National Security Agency’s massive phone record surveillance — one threatening the program and the other supporting it — are stirring fast legal footwork as both cases start to wind their way through federal appeals courts and possibly to the Supreme Court. A conservative lawyer who persuaded a federal district judge […]

Secret court authorizes continuation of NSA spying

Secret court authorizes continuation of NSA spying

A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American’s telephone records every day, in the midst of dueling decisions in two other federal courts about whether the surveillance program is constitutional. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Friday renewed the NSA phone collection program, said Shawn […]

Judge rules NSA spying on Americans is legal

Judge rules NSA spying on Americans is legal

The heated debate over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records fell squarely into the courts Friday, when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional. […]

Obama drops block to secret court ruling on NSA

Obama drops block to secret court ruling on NSA

The Obama administration has dropped its objection to the publication of a secret court opinion on the law that authorizes the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records. The Justice Department told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in a filing Friday that the department won’t object if the court decides to […]

Obama’s ‘slow boats to hell’ for suspected terrorists

Obama’s ‘slow boats to hell’ for suspected terrorists

Instead of sending suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay or secret CIA “black” sites for interrogation, the Obama administration is questioning terrorists for as long as it takes aboard U.S. naval vessels. And it’s doing it in a way that preserves the government’s ability to ultimately prosecute the suspects in civilian courts. That’s the pattern emerging […]

Secret court defends government spying on Americans

Secret court defends government spying on Americans

The surveillance court that oversees the U.S. government’s massive collection of telephone data gave its fullest defense to date on Tuesday of why it considers the program lawful, despite the uproar after its existence was made public in June. In an opinion dated August 29 and released on Tuesday, Judge Claire Eagan of the U.S. […]

Judge: Obama’s drone use rationale ‘disconcerting’

Judge: Obama’s drone use rationale ‘disconcerting’

A federal judge said Friday that she finds “disconcerting” the Obama administration’s position that courts have no role in a lawsuit over the 2011 drone-strike killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen, including an al-Qaida cleric. U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer made the comment at a hearing on a government motion to dismiss […]

Anger remains in Congress over government spying on Americans

Anger remains in Congress over government spying on Americans

Six weeks after a leaked document exposed the scope of the government’s surveillance of Americans’ phone records, many Democrats and some Republicans are still angry about it. On Wednesday, key administration figures from the intelligence world will appear before the House Judiciary Committee to answer another round of questions. The questioners include Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, […]

Obama fights to keep U.S. surveillance court secret

Obama fights to keep U.S. surveillance court secret

The Obama administration on Friday urged a secret U.S. court that oversees surveillance programs to reject a request by a civil liberties group to see court opinions used to underpin a massive phone records database. Justice Department lawyers said in papers filed in the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the court’s opinions are a […]