In a motion filed in the District Court for the District of Columbia on January 8, the Obama administration acted to prevent the release of information that would further expose the extent of its unconstitutional spying programs.
The motion to stay the proceedings comes less than a month after District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled against the Obama administration in Klayman v. Obama, calling the surveillance programs “almost Orwellian” and declaring that they most likely violated the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures, World Socialist Web Site reported.
The suit was filed in the aftermath of the revelations made public last year by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Although Judge Leon ruled against the government by granting the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction and thereby ordering a halt to the government’s collection of their telephone metadata, he simultaneously ordered a stay on his own ruling, pending deliberation by the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Noting the significant national security issues at stake, Judge Leon’s stay of his own order means that the government can legally continue its surveillance and storage of telephone metadata while the preliminary injunction is under appeal.
But the Obama administration is pressing for the district court to further restrict the impact of its ruling. Last Wednesday’s motion urges Judge Leon to freeze “all proceedings” in the trial until the Court of Appeals rules on the preliminary injunction. The motion requests that the court prevent the release of any information to the plaintiffs or the public on the grounds that public knowledge of the surveillance programs poses a threat to national security.
It thoroughly exposes President Obama’s talk of making the mass spying programs “more transparent”. In its language and legal content, the motion bears the badge of a police state.