Laird v. Tatum and Article III Standing in Surveillance Cases
13 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016 Last revised: 24 Jun 2016
Date Written: February 1, 2016
Plaintiffs seeking to challenge government surveillance programs have faced long odds in federal courts, due mainly to a line of Supreme Court cases that have set a very high bar to Article III standing in these cases. The origins of this jurisprudence can be directly traced to Laird v. Tatum, a 1972 case where the Supreme Court considered the question of who could sue the government over a surveillance program, holding in a 5-4 decision that chilling effects arising “merely from the individual’s knowledge” of likely government surveillance did not constitute adequate injury to meet Article III standing requirements.
Keywords: Surveillance, Standing
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