His dissent in a 1989 case stated that “today’s decision will reduce the privacy all citizens may enjoy.” And so it has.
You’d think that avowedly originalist conservatives would embrace this dissent and contest the wisdom of a secret court that has gone even farther than the wrongheaded precedent set by a 1989 majority opinion. Instead, conservatives by and large argue that the FISA court’s decisions properly render legal the sweeping, warrantless surveillance being conducted on American citizens, without any hint of individualized suspicion. In doing so, conservatives are signing onto the notion that there are special, judicially created exceptions to the Bill of Rights. So are many Obama Administration supporters.
But ultimately, today’s decision will reduce the privacy all citizens may enjoy, for, as Justice Holmes understood, principles of law, once bent, do not snap back easily. I dissent.
— Justice Thurgood Marshall