The chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee criticized a federal judge’s ruling this week that the NSA is likely violating Americans’ rights by storing records about their phone calls, saying Tuesday that the decision flies in the face of Supreme Court precedent and dozens of other court rulings.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, said Judge Richard J. Leon’s opinion, released Monday, contradicts the secret intelligence court that has upheld the NSA’s phone program 35 times, and also contradicts a federal court in California.
“Only the Supreme Court can resolve the question on the constitutionality of the NSA’s program,” Mrs. Feinstein said in a statement. “I welcome a Supreme Court review since it has been more than 30 years since the court’s original decision of constitutionality, and I believe it is crucial to settling the issue once and for all.”
The National Security Agency program, revealed in leaks by former government contractor Edward Snowden, has been gathering phone records of most calls made in the U.S. and storing the time, duration, and numbers of both parties. The federal government says it only uses the stored information when it is investigating a potential terrorist lead.