Supreme Court Takes Up Surveillance Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today took up a case on the relationship between the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the common law “state secrets” privilege. The Ninth Circuit had held that the procedures in FISA regarding deciding the legality of surveillance displace the traditional privilege. The case is FBI v. Fazaga, No. 20-828. The government’s petition for certiorari is here.

The Court issued only one decision today, in an immigration case. The unanimous opinion by Justice Kagan in Sanchez v. Mayorkas, No. 20-315 holds that a person who entered the United States illegally but is subsequently granted Temporary Protected Status is not eligible to adjust his status to lawful permanent resident (sometimes called “green card”). It is another “the statute means what it says” opinion. Lawful admission is a prerequisite to adjustment of status under the statute.

And what on earth is holding up Borden v.United States, argued November 3? The Court decided Jones v. Mississippi, argued the same day and seemingly the more difficult case, a month and half ago. CJLF’s brief in the case is here.

The next likely decision day is Thursday, June 10.

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