Judge: NSA Phone Spying Unconstitutional — ’James Madison Would Be Aghast’

Judge Richard J. Leon, NSA unconstitutional

Judge Leon’s opinion appears to validate the crusade of whistleblower Edward Snowden.

A domestic spying program exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is likely an egregious violation of the Constitution, a federal judge ruled today in a strongly worded opinion.

District of Columbia District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ordered the NSA to stop gathering the phone data of two plaintiffs. However, he stayed that injunction to allow time for the government’s appeal.

Judge Richard J. Leon, NSA phone spy surveillance unconstitutional

The ruling, in a case led by public-interest lawyer and Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman, is the first win in court for a challenge to the program, which collects so-called metadata of all Americans’ phone calls, reports The New York Times.

The judge, a 2002 appointee of George Bush, attacked the secret spying program as contrary to the Fourth Amendment.

Judge Richard J. Leon, NSA unconstitutional

Snowden, via Glenn Greenwald, reacted to the ruling:

Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights.

Read the entire opinion below.