By Andrew Seidel, BloombergPolitics article The Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition for a rehearing that would have struck down part of the controversial National Security Agency surveillance program that the justices had halted last month.
The court denied the request for rehearing in the case, which arose from a case brought by a New York state lawmaker and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The justices ruled that they could not revisit the ruling on the surveillance program, which the court has ruled must be allowed to continue despite a federal appeals court’s decision to strike down parts of it.
In a 5-4 decision, the court said the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit did not apply to the case before the justices, which had asked for rehearings.
The lower court in the Maryland case, United States v.
Doe, had said that the ruling was limited to surveillance that had been authorized by Congress, but not necessarily to surveillance carried out by the NSA.
The D.I.C., the highest court in America, has said that it cannot revisit its previous ruling on NSA surveillance.
A lower court judge in Maryland had ordered that the case be dismissed, but the appeals court ordered that a rehear should be heard.
The issue is now before the Supreme Court, which must decide if the court should rule on whether Congress can continue to authorize surveillance under the law that Congress passed in 2001.
The ruling comes as the White House is trying to reassure lawmakers and the public that the program is not the same as the one revealed by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign last month amid reports that he misled White House officials about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
In the wake of the controversy, Trump has repeatedly said he does not have any plans to change the program, and his administration is trying unsuccessfully to reassure skeptical lawmakers.