The widespread use of illegal electronic surveillance in the name of national security is a central form of government misconduct. A ruling in the early stage of this case established the right to bring a civil action without having proof of wiretap ping. Filed on behalf of Arthur Kinoy, movement lawyer, law professor and a CCR founder, and his daughter, Joanne Kinoy, the case originally involved the Kinoys’ right to know the details of 23 overhearings, 10 of which were characterized as “foreign.” The government eventually admitted that the surveillance of Arthur Kinoy and his clients included at least 200 additional overhearings. Many of these overheard conversations involved clients seeking and receiving legal advice.
The Department of Justice filed a motion asking that the case be dismissed on the ground that all the defendants have qualified immunity. The district court entered a decision dismissing the Fourth Amendment claims on this basis but agreeing with plaintiffs that their Fifth and Sixth Amendment claims for invasion of the attorney-client privilege required discovery and should not be dismissed. The government has taken an interlocutory appeal.
Michael Ratner, Rhonda Copelon, with Henry Furst and CCR cooperating attorney Jeremiah Gutman