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by Sharon Rondeau

The U.S. District Court in Washington, DC is located at 333 Constitution Ave. NW

(Oct. 8, 2015) — A hearing in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC will take place on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on a case brought by Atty. Larry Klayman challenging the constitutionality of the telephone-records collection by the National Security Agency (NSA) revealed by Edward Snowden more than two years ago.

In mid-December 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that the NSA’s surveillance of the telephone records of millions of Americans was “likely unconstitutional” and “almost Orwellian,” in a reference to George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and 1984.

In a press release issued on Wednesday on Klayman’s website, Klayman wrote that “on December 16, 2013, the Honorable Richard Leon found that the NSA and other government defendants, including President Barack Obama, had engaged in unconstitutional surveillance through their indiscriminate access to telephonic metadata. To allow the government defendants to proceed with their appeal, he stayed the preliminary injunction, but anticipated that the appeal would be quickly decided. However, the government defendants then delayed adjudication with various tactics and the federal appeals court itself dithered for nearly two years. In the last weeks, however, it ruled and sent the case back to Judge Leon to gather further evidence. The federal appeals court did not however overturn Judge Leon’s ruling that the surveillance violated the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.”

When the appellate panel issued its ruling in late August, the mainstream media largely reported that it “overturned” or “reversed” Leon’s ruling when that was not the case.  The appeals court did, however, lift Leon’s temporary injunction which Leon himself had stayed pending the government’s appeal.

Rather than simply reporting the facts, the media has assigned adjectives to Klayman such as “birther,” “gadfly,” “thorn in the government’s side,” and “conservative political activist.”

As a result of the passage of the USA Freedom Act in June, the NSA will no longer be tasked with collecting phone records, but rather, the records will be retained by the respective telephone companies.  The law takes effect on November 29.

On Tuesday, Josh Gerstein of Politico wrote that “A federal judge who seems keen on blocking the National Security Agency’s phone records collection program has a clear path to doing so after a federal appeals court removed a potential obstacle Tuesday.”

Gerstein also refers to Klayman as “conservative.”

After the case was returned to Leon’s court by the appellate panel, Klayman predicted that NSA surveillance would “soon stop.”