The case involves a challenge to the constitutionality of § 1881a of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which allows the Government to seek authorization for certain surveillance targeting non-U.S. persons located abroad. The respondents lack standing to seek a declaration that it is unconstitutional and an injunction against its use. The Supreme Court found that the respondents' injury is not fairly traceable to § 1881a, and the Second Circuit's approach to establishing standing based on a fear of surveillance is improper and dilutes the requirements of Article III. Allowing respondents to establish standing based on their subjective fear of interception would be unreasonable and contrary to the requirements of Article III.
The dissenting opinion argues that the plaintiffs, including lawyers, human rights researchers, and journalists, have standing in the case due to the likelihood of the government intercepting their private communications under § 1881a, an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The plaintiffs communicate electronically with foreigners outside the US, exchanging "foreign intelligence information" related to "international terrorism" and "the national defense or the security of the United States." The Government is likely to intercept some of these communications. The dissent disagrees with the Court's conclusion on standing, stating that the injury is actual or imminent and can be redressed by a favorable decision.
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