CA2 Denies Injunctive Relief in ACLU v. Clapper

By Quinta Jurecic
Thursday, October 29, 2015, 12:39 PM

This morning, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in ACLU v. Clapper declined to issue a preliminary injunction halting NSA's bulk collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act as authorized by the USA FREEDOM Act's 180 day transition period. The court held that the USA FREEDOM Act provides statutory authorization for bulk collection of metadata under Section 215 through the 180 day transition period authorized by the statute, meaning that Section 215 collection may continue under the appropriate statutory authorization through November 29, 2015. In an interesting twist, however, the court then declined to consider whether bulk collection of metadata violates the Fourth Amendment, on the grounds that the 180 day authorization will soon expire and any violation of Fourth Amendment rights will be "temporary."

Today's opinion follows the court's earlier decision in the case this May, in which it held that NSA's bulk collection of metadata was not authorized under Section 215.