On October 9, the Supreme Court denied review of an appeal court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Federal Information Securities Amendments Act (FISA).
The FISA Amendments Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 10, 2008 after being overwhelmingly passed 293 to 129 in the House and 69-28 in the Senate.
At issue in the case the Supreme Court refused to hear, Hepting, et al v. AT&T, et al, was the government’s use of provisions of FISA to grant retroactive protection from prosecution to several telecommunications giants including AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. These companies aided the government in wiretapping the phones of subscribers without obtaining a warrant.
Politico is reporting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has “extended a temporary stay of a district court judge's order barring the government from using an indefinite detention provision in a defense bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama late last year.”
A panel of three judges heard the motion filed by the Obama administration and in their ruling they point to “flaws within the scope and rationale” of the permanent injunction issued earlier by District Court Judge Katherine Forrest.
In response to an Opt Out and Film national campaign that encourages airline passengers to opt out of the naked-body scanners and film TSA screeners, the Transportation Security Administration has retracted its approval of filming its procedures at security checkpoints.
"The Fourth Amendment does not recognize guilt by association," U.S. District Court Judge Richard Sullivan wrote in ruling the New York Police Department illegally arrested a large number of demonstrators during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York's Madison Square Garden. The ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that police lacked probable cause for many of the arrests, because they had no knowledge or reason to believe that the individuals arrested had broken the law.
The U.S. Supreme Court on October 1 rejected the appeal of a Michigan resident who claimed the use of body-imaging scanners and pat-down procedures by Transportation Security Administration agents at airports throughout the country violate airline passengers' privacy rights protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On the first day of its new term, the court refused without comment to consider the appeal of Jonathan Corbett, who publishes a blog called "TSA Out of Our Pants!" Corbett's suit had been dismissed by the U.S. District Court in Southern Florida in a ruling upheld by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia.