Judge Dismisses NSA Spying Lawsuit, Asserting Too Many People Were Spied On

You read that right. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker has dismissed a lawsuit in San Francisco's federal courthouse against the U.S. government, stating in his ruling that the plaintiffs' complaint that they were illegally monitored under the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretap program is shared by too many other American citizens.

At issue is the question of these folks' standing to pursue a claim against the government in federal court — in other words, whether they represent a party or class of people who can legitimately sue. Vaughn ruled that they cannot, citing this line from the 2005 federal Seegers v Gonzales case: “[I]njuries that are shared and generalized — such as the right to have the government act in accordance with the law — are not sufficient to support standing.”

Walker's ruling was just as significant for a question he chose not

to answer. The U.S. government asserted that the lawsuit should be

dismissed because it would disclose state secrets; in his order of

dismissal, the judge “declines to rule” on this claim, since the

standing issue was sufficient cause to toss the suit.

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