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American Constitution - Research Paper Example

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The American Civil Liberties Union brought a case against the National Security Agency which was decided on the 6th of July 2007. On January the 16 2006, ACLU on its own behalf and that of three other organizations and five individuals sued the NSA and sought declaratory judgment and relief arguing that the Terrorist Surveillance Program was unconstitutional and illegal according to the fourth amendment.
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Download file to see previous pages The details of this amendment make it necessary for a search warrant to be issued before the personal life of any American citizen is subject to view. These search and arrest warrants also have to abide to certain requirements to make them plausible and usable. Not only do they require judicial approval but the warrant must also have a suitable cause initiating the search or arrest. Thus, these warrants are created according to the knowledge of a specific person, mostly a law enforcement officer, who have sworn to it and are therefore responsible and accountable for it to the issuing court.
In 1885, the Murray v Hoboken land law determined that the fourth amendment applied only to criminal law and not any kind of civil law (Encyclopedia Britannica). The federal government then ensured that areas like narcotics were also included in the realm of criminal jurisdiction. However, the Supreme Court soon ruled that some searches and seizures were violating the Fourth Amendment despite the warrant carrying a probable cause and a limitation in scope (US Supreme Court 1967). Yet, at the same time the Court has also allowed innumerable seizures and searches to be carried out without any form of warrant, only because they feel a probable cause to exist that a criminal offense has been or is being committed (US Supreme Court 2004).This a clear portrayal of how the reasonableness and issuing of the warrant are often vastly different.
The ACLA v NSA case relates back to the creation of a classified foreign intelligence program, now known as the Terrorist Surveillance Program. This agency could intercept international telephone and internet communications from numerous persons and organizations without needing to issue a warrant. The plaintiff in this legal case included, ACLA, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Greenpeace along with five individuals who are authors and journalists. These included Christopher Hitchens, James Bamford, Tara McKelvey Larry Diamond: a democracy scholar of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution, and Barnett Rubin: an Afghanistan scholar of New York University. All these individuals claimed to have a history of communicating with people located inside or from the Middle East. They held the opinion based on a secure belief that their communications had been targeted by the TSP. This idea was because of the public knowledge that had been attained by the workings of this program. ACLA v NSA was one of the first lawsuits produced that challenged the Terrorist Surveillance Program (Hibbits 2006).
The District Court presented its own opinion. Judge Taylor wrote a forty-four page and eleven part opinion which was responsible for examining the defendant's claims over the part played by the NSA in this movement. It was discovered that according to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the NSA violated that laws that had been decided. According to FISA, the Terrorist Surveillance Act was passed in 2006 through which President Bush gave additional power to the authorities to conduct electronic surveillance on suspected terrorists in the United States subject to the view of the Congress. Judge Taylor also felt the NSA responsible for violating not the fourth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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