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Constitutional Law Keyed to Barnett
Clapper v. Amnesty International USA
Citation:568 U.S. 398 (2013)
In 1978, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a law that allows the Attorney General and Director of National Intelligence to surveil individuals who are located outside of the United States and who are not “United States Persons.” Amendments to the FISA in 2008 removed an earlier requirement that the government establish probable cause that the target of the surveillance was a foreign power/agent of a foreign power. Respondents argued that the FISA interfered with their ability to communicate with their clients, who may be targeted by FISA. In addition to interference with their communications, Respondents claim that they were compelled to travel abroad to communicate with witnesses due to fear of surveillance, leading to costly and burdensome expenditures. Respondents argued that the FISA was an unconstitutional violation of their Fourth and First Amendment rights and violated Article III and separation of powers.
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