Access to Justice

In Clapper, Supreme Court Majority Turns Article III On Its Head

Washington, DC – On news that the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, which tossed out of court a First Amendment challenge to a law establishing a secretive surveillance program on the basis that there was no proof of precisely who the government secretly targeted, Constitutional Accountability Center released the following reaction:


Rochelle Bobroff, Director of CAC’s Access to Courts Program, said, “The Supreme Court majority goes through a series of contortions in order to deny Amnesty International and others the ability to challenge the constitutionality of this controversial surveillance program, making it unlikely that anyone will ever be able to mount such a challenge.  The court’s ruling relies on Article III of the Constitution, but turns it on its head, misinterpreting the Court’s role to hear important constitutional cases into a license to deny review.”


CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra added, “The Court’s embrace of an overly restrictive ‘certainly impending’ standard will make it more difficult for litigants to access our federal courts, whether they are challenging a federal statute or seeking to hold a company liable for violating federal law.” 






Constitutional Accountability Center’s “friend of the court” brief filed on the side of Respondents:  


“Clapper and the Constitutional Role of the Federal Judiciary,” Rochelle Bobroff, October 25, 2012:  


Clapper v. Amnesty International USA: Supreme Court to Resolve Key Court Access Issue In First Amendment Case,” Rochelle Bobroff, September 26, 2012:  




Constitutional Accountability Center ( is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.