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SCOTUS will hear case involving FBI surveillance of Muslim group and state secrets and techniques privilege

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U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUS will hear case involving FBI surveillance of Muslim group and state secrets and techniques privilege

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to contemplate the federal government’s skill to invoke the state secrets and techniques privilege to defeat a lawsuit accusing the FBI of illegally spying on the Muslim group.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear FBI v. Fazaga, a case introduced by three Muslim males in California who declare that the federal government spying was based mostly solely on their faith, SCOTUSblog stories here and here.

The plaintiffs allege that the FBI informed a confidential informant to focus on Muslims who appeared extra devoted as a result of they had been extra suspicious.

The government contends that the case have to be dismissed under the state secrets and techniques privilege, which permits the United States to withhold proof that may harm nationwide safety. When litigating a case with out the proof may nonetheless pose an unacceptable threat of revealing state secrets and techniques, the go well with have to be dismissed.

The plaintiffs contend {that a} provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act displaces the privilege, permitting the court docket to conduct a evaluate of presidency proof derived from digital surveillance to find out whether or not it was legally collected.

A federal choose had dominated for the federal government, holding that the FBI must depend on privileged thing to defend the lawsuit, the Lawfare weblog beforehand reported. The ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco reversed, holding {that a} federal choose ought to use the FISA regulation to contemplate proof, in digicam and ex parte, referring to digital surveillance.

The SCOTUSblog case page for FBI v. Fazaga is here.

CNN and the Hill reported on the cert grant.

The Supreme Court beforehand agreed to evaluate a second state secrets and techniques case involving Abu Zubaydah, a former affiliate of Osama bin Laden being held at Guantanamo Bay. Zubaydah is seeking discovery about interrogation methods and particulars of his remedy at a black web site in Poland from two CIA contractors.

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