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White House appeals ruling on constitutionality of NSA program

Jan. 3, 2014 at 5:51 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The Justice Department asked a U.S. appeals court Friday to toss out a judge's ruling the National Security Agency surveillance is likely unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled Dec. 16 in Washington the surveillance program violates the Constitution, and ordered a halt to collection of data on electronic communications by two plaintiffs. The finding is at odds with a ruling last month by New York District Judge William Pauley, who concluded the NSA program is legal.

President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and NSA Director Keith Alexander filed the appeal in the Washington case Friday, The Hill reported.

The office of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., confirmed a Breitbart News report that Paul intends to file a class-action lawsuit "soon" challenging the NSA program as a violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, The Hill reported.

"We have tens of thousands of people who have signed up for it," Paul told CNN last month. "We're still exploring the legal aspect of whether we can file a class-action suit. When you hear of class-action suits, you hear of them mostly on liability. This would be a class-action suit on a constitutional question, and it might be the first of its kind if we can file it."

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