A lawyer who won a federal judge’s determination that the National Security Agency’s spy-on-Americans program is “Orwellian” and likely unconstitutional is encouraging the judge to maintain his stance after a federal appeals court ruled the collection of phone metadata can continue.
The request to Judge Richard Leon from attorney Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch comes after the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided not to stop the data collection during a 180-day transition period from an old law to a new one.
The USA Patriot Act, which authorizes the data collection, is being replaced by the USA Freedom Act.
“We conclude that [Paragraph] 215 authorizes the telephone metadata collection program for the period of 180 days from the Freedom Act’s enactment, as part of a larger move to dismantle the program,” the appeals court said.
When government attorneys brought the decision to the attention of Leon, Klayman immediately fired back, arguing “even one day of a violation of our Constitution is one day too many.”
“This court is the sole protector of not just plaintiffs but of all Americans and must be commended for its intended swift action to end the government defendants’ unconstitutional lawlessness at the earliest practicable date,” he wrote. “That the Second Circuit shirked its judicial responsibility for political reasons is of no import.”