Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2434326
 


 



A Rule of Lenity for National Security Surveillance Law


Orin S. Kerr


George Washington University - Law School

May 7, 2014

Virginia Law Review, Forthcoming
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2014-29
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-29

Abstract:     
This essay argues that Congress should adopt a rule of lenity for the interpretation of national security surveillance statutes. Under the rule of lenity, ambiguity in the powers granted to the Executive Branch in the sections of the United States Code on national security surveillance should be trigger a narrow judicial interpretation in favor of the individual and against the state. A rule of lenity would push Congress to be the primary decisionmaker to balance privacy and security when technology changes, limiting the rule-making power of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. A rule of lenity would help restore the power over national security surveillance law to where it belongs: The People.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: surveillance, FISA, Snowden, NSA

JEL Classification: K1, K42

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: May 9, 2014 ; Last revised: June 27, 2014

Suggested Citation

Kerr, Orin S., A Rule of Lenity for National Security Surveillance Law (May 7, 2014). Virginia Law Review, Forthcoming; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2014-29; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-29. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2434326

Contact Information

Orin S. Kerr (Contact Author)
George Washington University - Law School ( email )
2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-4775 (Phone)
202-994-9817 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/faculty/profile.asp?ID=3568
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