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Stories Stories Politics Justice Scalia Gave An Intriguing Non-Answer Question To A Question About NSA Spying

Justice Scalia Gave An Intriguing Non-Answer Question To A Question About NSA Spying
Written by Karen     March 23, 2014    
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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia got an incredibly astute question from a law student Friday night that could have huge implications for the NSA's domestic surveillance programs.

The question came during a spirited Q&A curated by Brooklyn Law School's Judge Andrew Napolitano, who asked Scalia about the controversial subject of the NSA's surveillance of Americans.

Question From Supreme Court Justice Scalia About NSA Spying That Is Left Unanswered

Scalia made it clear the issue would likely come before the high court, and he hinted he would rule that "conversations" (i.e., the conversations the government might listen to) aren't protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment, Scalia pointed out, prohibits the government from searching your "persons, houses, papers, and effects" without a warrant — not "conversations."

However, one student asked the justice whether data in a computer might be considered "effects" under the Fourth Amendment, an interpretation that would prohibit the NSA's capture of communications over the Internet.

Scalia, who's remarkably avuncular in person, was visibly pleased by the question but said he "better not answer that."

"That is something that may well come up [before the Supreme Court]," Scalia added.


• United States


Contributor's Comment
• The U.S. Supreme Court has found that the Constitution implicitly grants a right to privacy against governmental intrusion. This right to privacy has been the justification for decisions involving a wide range of civil liberties cases.
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