Landmark Case
Jan 17, 2006

On January 17, 2006 the ACLU filed the first lawsuit against the Bush administration in connection with their spying program. "President Bush may believe he can authorize spying on Americans without judicial or Congressional approval, but this program is illegal and we intend to put a stop to it," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan, seeks a court order declaring that the NSA spying is illegal and that it must stop. The current surveillance of Americans is a chilling assertion of presidential power that has not been seen since the days of Richard Nixon."In 2002 President Bush signed an order which allowed the National Security Agency to intercept and monitor hundreds, if not thousands, of telephone calls and emails of citizens within the United States. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of journalists, attorneys and national nonprofit organizations who feel that they may have been targeted by the program, which was first disclosed in a New York Times article on December 16, 2005. A separate lawsuit was also filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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