The nation's leading privacy law scholars have filed a series of amici briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting EPIC's challenge to the NSA domestic surveillance program. A brief by privacy and surveillance law professors argues that the bulk collection of telephone metadata is unlawful under the Patriot Act. Their brief explains that the program violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Executive Order governing intelligence operations. A brief by former Church Committee members and twenty-eight law professors, submitted by constitutional expert Erwin Chemerinsky, outlines the history of domestic surveillance abuses and explains that the FISA was enacted specifically to limit such collection. Another brief by Fourth Amendment experts at the Cato Institute argues that the Verizon Order is equivalent to a "general warrant" issued in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and that the Supreme Court's recent decision in United States v. Jones shows that "EPIC has a legal and constitutional interest in data about its telephone calls." Finally, a brief filed by Professors James Pfander and Stephen Vladeck, leading experts in federal courts, argues that the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to grant EPIC's petition and that the legal question is properly before the Court. For more information, see In re EPIC.
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by Ryan Calo, A. Michael Froomkin,