Case: ACLU v. NSA

2:06-cv-10204 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: Jan. 17, 2006

Closed Date: 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 17, 2006, a group of organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and a number of individuals, filed a law suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the National Security Agency (NSA), under Bivens and the Administrative Procedure Act. The plaintiffs challenged the legality of NSA's Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) as violating their free speech and privacy rights as well as the Separation of Powers doctrine. The plaintiffs…

On January 17, 2006, a group of organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and a number of individuals, filed a law suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the National Security Agency (NSA), under Bivens and the Administrative Procedure Act. The plaintiffs challenged the legality of NSA's Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) as violating their free speech and privacy rights as well as the Separation of Powers doctrine. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, asked the court for declaratory judgment and permanent injunction.

The plaintiffs alleged that their regular conduct (e.g., journalism, the practice of law, and scholarship) have been impaired by the TSP, which violated various portions of the U.S. Constitution. The NSA countered that the plaintiffs: (1) lacked standing; and (2) could not establish a prima facie case without the use of state secrets, so that the state secret privilege barred plaintiffs' claims.

On August 17, 2006, the District Court (Judge Anna Diggs Taylor) disagreed with most of the NSA's arguments, and issued a judgment and permanent injunction order: (1) the TSP violated the Separation of Powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; and (2) the NSA was enjoined from utilizing the TSP including conducting wireless wiretaps of telephone and internet communication, as violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III. The plaintiffs' data-mining claims were denied. The same day, the NSA filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

The 6th Circuit stayed the operation of the the district court's injunction, 467 F.3d 590 (6th Cir., Oct. 4, 2006) and then on July 6, 2007, vacated the District Court's order and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals found that the plaintiffs lacked standing. 493 F.3d 644 (6th Cir. 2007). On March 3, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari review. 552 U.S. 1179.

Summary Authors

David Cho (10/5/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4814225/parties/american-civil-liberties-union-v-national-security-agencycentral-security/


Judge(s)

Batchelder, Alice Moore (Ohio)

Gibbons, Julia Smith (Tennessee)

Gilman, Ronald Lee (Tennessee)

Taylor, Anna Katherine Johnston Diggs (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Beeson, Ann (District of Columbia)

Costello, Margaret A. (Michigan)

Crump, Catherine (New York)

Goodman, Melissa (New York)

Jaffer, Jameel (New York)

Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Batchelder, Alice Moore (Ohio)

Gibbons, Julia Smith (Tennessee)

Gilman, Ronald Lee (Tennessee)

Taylor, Anna Katherine Johnston Diggs (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Beeson, Ann (District of Columbia)

Costello, Margaret A. (Michigan)

Crump, Catherine (New York)

Goodman, Melissa (New York)

Jaffer, Jameel (New York)

Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Coppolino, Anthony J. (District of Columbia)

Tannenbaum, Andrew H. (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Davis, Hugh M. Jr. (Michigan)

Green, Saul A. (Michigan)

Nickelhoff, Andrew A. (Michigan)

Samp, Richard A. (District of Columbia)

Saylor, Larry J. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

March 3, 2008 Docket
1

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Jan. 17, 2006 Complaint
70

Memorandum Opinion

438 F.Supp.2d 754

Aug. 17, 2006 Order/Opinion
71

Judgment and Preliminary Injunction Order

Aug. 17, 2006 Order/Opinion

Opinion [Vacating Order and Remanding Case]

American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

493 F.3d 644

July 6, 2007 Order/Opinion
100

Order Dismissing Case

Nov. 28, 2007 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

ACLU v. NSA - Challenge to Warantless Wiretapping

ACLU

In 2006, in the first federal challenge ever argued against the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program, the ACLU defeated the Bush administration when a district court declared the program unconstitut… Sept. 10, 2014 https://www.aclu.org/cases/aclu-v-nsa-challenge-warrantless-wiretapping

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4814225/american-civil-liberties-union-v-national-security-agencycentral-security/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
70

MEMORANDUM OPINION - Signed by Honorable Anna Diggs Taylor. (JCurr, )

Aug. 17, 2006 RECAP
87

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 81 Motion to Stay. Stay extended through 10/5/06.- Signed by Honorable George Caram Steeh for Honorable Anna Diggs Taylor (MBea, )

Sept. 29, 2006 RECAP

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- Telephony Metadata

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—Internet Metadata

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 17, 2006

Closing Date: 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Non-profit organizations (ACLU, ACLU Foundation, ACLU of Michigan, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan, Greenpeace, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) and concerned citizens.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU of Michigan

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

National Security Agency, Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

FISA Title I Warrant (Electronic Surveillance), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1812

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 2006 - 2006

Content of Injunction:

Warrant/order for search or seizure

Issues

General:

Confidentiality

Search policies

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run