No criminal law decisions from the US Supreme Court today. The Court did decide a case on "standing," an issue that comes up occasionally in civil suits against law enforcement practices and in cases of death row "volunteers." The case is Clapper v. Amnesty International:
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, 50 U. S. C. §1881a (2006 ed., Supp. V), allows the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence to acquire foreign intelligence information by jointly authorizing the surveillance of individuals who are not "United States persons" and are reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. Before doing so, the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence normally must obtain the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court's approval. Respondents are United States persons whose work, they allege, requires them to engage in sensitive international communications with individuals who they believe are likely targets of surveillance under §1881a. Respondents seek a declaration that §1881a is unconstitutional, as well as an injunction against §1881a-authorized surveillance. The question before us is whether respondents have Article III standing to seek this prospective relief.The answer is no, 5-4.