Committee Reports

Amicus Brief: ACLU v. Clapper (U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit)


The Task Force on National Security and the Rule of Law filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in American Civil Liberties Union v. Clapper. The Task Force argues that the National Security Agency (NSA)’s bulk telephone metadata collection program, which has involved wholesale collection of certain information for substantially every telephone call in the United States in May 2006, must be accorded Fourth Amendment protection. While the court below recognized that this case involves the natural tension between protecting the nation and preserving civil liberties, it inappropriately applied the third-party doctrine and found that the plaintiffs had no legitimate expectation that sensitive information relating to every telephone call they made or received would be private. The brief states that the court wrongly removed the Fourth Amendment from the analysis in balancing this natural, and by doing so compromised the fundamental right of privacy that is at the heart of both individual liberty and the rule of law.