Federal Judge Rules NSA Phone Record Collection Likely Unconstitutional

In a 68 page order issued earlier today, a federal district court judge ruled in favor of five plaintiffs challenging the NSA’s collection of phone record information, finding that the plaintiffs:

  • “have standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Government’s bulk collection and querying of phone records metadata”;
  • “have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their Fourth Amendment claim”; and
  • “will suffer irreparable harm absent preliminary injunctive relief.”

This is by no means the last stop for this litigation; rather, it is just the end of the beginning.  While granting the requested injunction against the NSA to bar collection of telephony data from their Verizon accounts and requiring the government to destroy the metadata it collected on them, the judge stayed his order pending appeal by the federal government, due to the “significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues. . . .”

The order was issued in the consolidated case Klayman, et al. v. Obama, et al., United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Action Nos. 13-851 and 13-881.

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