Government moves to appeal surveillance ruling that threatens phone record collection

By Stephen Braun

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Jan. 3 2014 1:29 p.m. MST

A sign stands outside the National Security Administration (NSA) campus on Thursday, June 6, 2013, in Fort Meade, Md.

Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Government lawyers are asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington to overturn a federal judge's ruling that threatens the National Security Agency's practice of collecting every Americans' telephone records every day.

The Justice Department filed its notice of appeal Friday. Meanwhile, Larry Klayman, the opposing lawyer who spearheaded the case against the NSA said he will ask the appeals court to refer the case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled last month that the NSA phone records program was likely unconstitutional, so the government's appeal was expected. In a separate case, a district judge in New York last month upheld the NSA program as lawful. The ACLU, which lost that case, said this week it will appeal that case.

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