Staffing the court is apparently part of his duty as Chief Justice, and as such does pose a conflict of interest with this case. Carrying out his job does not imply any point of view regarding the constitutionality or ethics of the spying program. He doesn't get to refuse to appoint judges as the law requires whatever his opinion. He only gets to judge things that are officially challenged in his court, and even then only after reviewing evidence and arguments from both sides.
Just doing his job, right? Are you seriously trying to imply that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, literally THE authority on interpreting the Constitution, as an American, has no connections and is powerless to influence the world in any way outside of the court cases placed before him? Think of it this way - if he felt what he was being asked to do was a violation of the Constitution, wouldn't his participation make him a co-conspirator to that crime?
As people who have been filing F.O.I.A requests for any personal information the NSA may have gained access to and stored without their permission will tell you: you won't succeed. I think the N.S.A spying program is here to stay, people eventually will give up complaining about it and move on with their lives which is what the Government is betting on will happen.
Considering the amount of money that has been undoubtedly spent on this spy program while the unemployment rate rises, taxes are increased, food and fuel keep on getting more expensive I doubt the Government will just give up control that easily especially when you're talking of potentially billions already being spent on this state of the art spying program.
All asking the Supreme court to prevent the N.S.A spying on phone calls will result in is getting yourself added to a priority N.S.A watchlist.
For the "home of the brave" Americans sure don't sound a lot like it. People have fought a lot worse in the past, and Americans seem to be like "meh, I'm too bored to fight this". Good job, America.
But you're forgetting one thing. This is not "how things will be", if you let it happen. Oh no. This is just but the very beginning. If you let it happen to you, things will become 10x, 100x worse in the future. And then even you, individually, will feel the oppression of the government. But let's see how you'll fight it then, without violence. At least right now there may be a chance to do it without any violence - you know, if you weren't too "bored" with it.
I guess I am basing my logic off of the occupy protests. The occupy protests got a lot of attention and even though they're still going on in some places, you don't really hear about them any more (not even on conspiracy theory peddling sites like Above Top Secret). The goal was to draw attention to big banks abusing their power and not changing their ways, a couple of years on and all of that protesting only briefly brought attention to the big banking system, but nothing changed. Some people moved money to credit unions, but the big banks like BoA are still around, the protests achieved nothing.
In many ways there are similarities between the occupy situation and the N.S.A secret spying program only people are protesting online and bugging their representatives most of which didn't even know about the program until it was publicly leaked.
I am a firm believer in standing up for something, especially when it's the Government wronging it's citizens, but I think this whole situation goes deeper than any public opinion truly can penetrate and change. I think the power in this situation like lays with other countries acting on what has been revealed, but most are too afraid to stand up to the US. It's times like these you realise why the US has one of the worlds best funded military regimes in the world because when SHTF who is truly going to stand up to the bigger military entity?
This isn't the same America that fought in WW2, or survived the great depression. We're suffering intense culture rot, for a variety of reasons.
To stop the surveillance state at this point will require a fundamental reassessment as to the proper role of government and its limits / restraints, and that will only be possible with a collapse or significant cultural rebirth.
The spying is part of the military industrial complex, turning inwards. Talk about intimidating. Challenging that monster would be a daunting task for even the most staunch of civil liberties warriors, much less for average Joe that doesn't even understand what's going on. The President himself couldn't even dent it if he were to flex every ounce of power his office commands. If you really want to permanently roll back the spying, you'd have to dismantle the military industrial complex, because this outcome was inevitable with its birth in WW2. Can't have a highly aggressive, $600+ billion juggernaut roaming the globe, spying on everybody and everything, and not expect it to come home to roost.
Simply put, Americans don't want to wake up and deal with any of this. For the most part, the spying doesn't actually change an average person's day to day life at all, they literally don't notice it. Practically speaking, it's very difficult to get 'drowning' people to care about something that doesn't seem to affect them, when they can hardly pay their bills and are struggling day to day (3/4 of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck now).
In vacuuming up and blindly storing all of the descriptive data about phone calls, I am impressed that the NSA and its superiors may have managed to carry out "unreasonable seizure" without "unreasonable search."
I'd be even more impressed to see an injunction against it.
Nonsense. Even after this seemingly decapitation of the concept of privacy, there is still minutiae and trivialities about privacy. For example, should all personal information be stored in a common encryption format mandated by the state?