Bush-Era Wiretapping Case Killed Before Reaching Supreme Court | Threat Level | Wired.com

A federal appeals court’s August ruling in which it said the federal government may spy on Americans’ communications without warrants and without fear of being sued won’t be appealed to the Supreme Court, attorneys in the case said Thursday.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this summer reversed the first and only case that successfully challenged then-President George W. Bush’s once-secret Terrorist Surveillance Program. In December, the San Francisco-based appeals court — the nation’s largest — declined to revisit its decision — making the case ripe for an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The appellate decision overturned a lower court decision in which two American attorneys — who were working with the now-defunct al-Haramain Islamic Foundation — were awarded more than $20,000 each in damages and their lawyers $2.5 million in legal fees after a years-long, tortured legal battle where they proved they were spied on without warrants.

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