Judge who once ruled against NSA metadata program tosses lawsuit

Enlarge / Larry Klayman, seen here in 2014. (credit: The Washington Post / Contributor)

A federal judge in Washington, DC has dismissed two long-running lawsuits that aimed to shed light on the often secretive surveillance state. As the National Security Agency’s metadata program no longer exists, the cases are now moot.

"This Court, in the final analysis, has no choice but to dismiss these cases for plaintiffs’ failure to demonstrate the necessary jurisdiction to proceed," US District Judge Richard Leon wrote on November 21. "I do so today, however, well aware that I will not be the last District Judge who will be required to determine the appropriate balance between our national security and privacy interests during this never-ending war on terror."

The original version of this case, known as Klayman v. Obama, was filed by well-known conservative activist attorney Larry Klayman on June 7, 2013—the day after the Snowden revelations became public. The complaint argued that the National Security Agency’s telephone metadata program ("Section 215"), which gathered records of all incoming and outgoing calls for years on end, was unconstitutional.

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