The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit knocked down a petition asking it to reconsider a lower court decision to stay an injunction to wind down the US government's current metadata surveillance program. In an opinion explaining the denial of the petition, Judge Brett Kavanaugh -- who worked for Kenneth Starr during the latter's production of the Starr Report and also in George W. Bush's White House -- wrote: "I do so because, in my view, the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment."
"To be sure, sincere and passionate concerns have been raised about the Government’s program," Kavanaugh writes, saying those arguments may be addressed by Congress and the Executive [branch]." Kavanaugh's brief opinion was clear: "In sum, the Fourth Amendment does not bar the Government’s bulk collection of telephony metadata under this program," Kavanaugh contends. The judge's main objection is that the Fourth Amendment bars only "unreasonable searches and seizures," while the metadata collection program as configured "readily qualifies as reasonable."
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