Opinion L.A.
Opinion Opinion L.A.

Low: Electronic surveillance

In February, several months before former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the NSA's electronic surveillance, the court ruled that a group of lawyers and activists couldn't challenge one of the agency's programs. Writing for a 5-4 majority, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the program because they couldn't show that their conversations with sources and clients were monitored. Justice Stephen G. Breyer's more persuasive dissent argued that "we need only assume that the government is doing its job (to find out about, and combat, terrorism) in order to conclude that there is a high probability that the government will intercept at least some electronic communication to which at least some of the plaintiffs are parties." Above: At the NSA campus in Fort Meade, Md. RELATED: Ted Rall's five best cartoons of 2013 Washington's 5 biggest 'fails' of 2013 10 groundbreaking women we lost in 2013Patrick Semansky / Associated Press