June 1, 2006 | The Washington Legal Foundation

Activist Suits Challening Terrorist Surveillance Should Be Dismissed

The ongoing controversy over the National Security Agency's (NSA) terrorist surveillance program has, inevitably, generated civil litigation. Federal lawsuits have been filed in the Southern District of New York by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a radical activist organization which represents many enemy-combatant detainees and has sued high administration officials for purported war crimes in Germany; and in the Eastern District of Michigan by various human rights organizations, Muslim interest activists, lawyers and journalists led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Though public debate is surely proper, the courts are an inappropriate forum. The wartime penetration of enemy communications is a policy decision classically entrusted to the political branches of government. The suits should therefore be dismissed for want of jurisdiction, or for want of merit in the event the courts decide to entertain them.

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