Jonathan Turley writes about an interesting development in South Florida where a
prosecutor defense attorney in a purely local car robbery case in which phone records that he needed had disappeared suddenly realized that the NSA had the data and now he wants them to share it.
I was interviewed yesterday in an extraordinary case out of South Florida where Attorney Marshall Dore Louis faced a problem that phone records material to his defense of a car robbery suspect have disappeared. Accordingly, he is seeking the records from one resource that has stored every call from every citizen: the National Security Agency (NSA). After all, the Administration has admitted the existence of the storage and program. After that, Dore is arguing that it is just another government agency with material evidence. Indeed, the NSA wanted a complete record of all calls to store and it is now being called upon to hand over material evidence in its possession. [My italics-MS]
Clearly, NSA views this program as a one way street and will not yield willingly to being a resource of litigators. The interesting question will be how it now objects. In the past, the government has refused to confirm such programs but it has now done so.
This is an interesting development because the government has successfully blocked previous major civil liberties cases on the grounds that since the government refuses to say whether such programs exist, the plaintiffs cannot prove that they exist and thus cannot show that they have been harmed by them and thus have no standing to sue. That defense has now collapsed. I wonder how many cases are going to be filed again.