President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has raised concerns about the future of privacy and Constitutional protections against government surveillance. As a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh upheld the warrantless, widespread, and suspicionless collection of call records of Americans. Kavanaugh, authoring an opinion where none was expected, wrote that the mass surveillance program "is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment." Kavanaugh further stated that even if the search triggered constitutional concerns, it "fit comfortably" in the special needs exception to the Fourth Amendment. "Critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by the program," wrote Kavanaugh. Congress subsequently determined that the data collection activity was overly broad and terminated the program. EPIC will ask the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Kavanaugh on a wide range of privacy, First Amendment, open government, and consumer protection issues. EPIC has submitted similar statements to the Judiciary Committee for the hearings on Justice Gorsuch, Justice Kagan, Justice Sotomayor, Justice Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts.
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