Is the Supreme Court Set to Establish Major Precedent in Email Privacy?


People outside of the Supreme Court building People stand in line to enter the Supreme Court in December 2017. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP)

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will decide whether tech companies that store our emails and other personal data on servers abroad can be forced to turn that data over to American law enforcement. In an op-ed published this morning in The Hill, Committee for Justice President Curt Levey writes about what's at stake in both United States v. Microsoft and the critical legislation introduced this month—the CLOUD Act—intended to modernize the statute governing this question.


Levey writes that "two principles shared by virtually all conservatives are...at stake: one, policy decisions should be made by the legislature, not by courts. Two, when the courts construe ambiguous legislation, they should err on the side of limited government power."


A ruling for the government, Levey warns, would "undermine the presumption against extraterritoriality, an inherently conservative canon of statutory interpretation that presumes more limited government power that does not reach beyond our borders. If Congress wants to reach further, it must say so explicitly."


Read more in The Hill.

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