Emptywheel breaks down EPIC’s extraordinary petition to the Supreme Court:
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed a writ of mandamus to SCOTUS to overturn the Section 215 order turning over all of Verizon’s call records to the NSA.
Let me be clear: this is a moon shot. I’m doubtful it’ll work. A really helpful post at SCOTUSblog on the effort emphasizes how unusual this is.
EPIC’s move is the boldest of a number of legal challenges to NSA that have been filed around the country by privacy defenders in the wake of Snowden’s public disclosure of some of the details of NSA surveillance. EPIC filed under a Supreme Court rule that permits “extraordinary” filings directly in the Supreme Court, without first making a trip through a lower court, when “exceptional circumstances warrant the exercise of the Court’s discretionary powers” and an adequate remedy cannot be obtained “from any other court.” The history of such Rule 20 requests shows that few are granted. The Court’s own rules say that the power to grant such pleas is “sparingly exercised.”
All that said, IMO the filing is very well crafted, and worth reading with attention.
Read more on emptywheel,