Page:ACLU v. NSA Opinion (August 17, 2006), US District Court, East-Michigan.djvu/20

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Breyer has observed, "[t]he problem for the government with Laird ... lies in the key words 'without more.'" Ozonoff v. Berzak, 744 F.2d 224, 229 (1st Cir. 1984). This court agrees with Plaintiffs' position that "standing here does not rest on the TSP's 'mere existence, without more.'" The Plaintiffs in this case are not claiming simply that the Defendants' surveillance has "chilled" them from making international calls to sources and clients. Rather, they claim that Defendants' surveillance has chilled their sources, clients, and potential witnesses from communicating with them. The alleged effect on Plaintiffs is a concrete, actual inability to communicate with witnesses, sources, clients and others without great expense which has significantly crippled Plaintiffs, at a minimum, in their ability to report the news and competently and effectively represent their clients. See Presbyterian Church v. United States, 870 F.2d 518 (1989) (church suffered substantial decrease in attendance and participation of individual congregants as a result of governmental surveillance). Plaintiffs have suffered actual concrete injuries to their abilities to carry out their professional responsibilities. The direct injury and objective chill incurred by Plaintiffs are more than sufficient to place this case outside the limitations imposed by Laird.

The instant case is more akin to Friends of the Earth, in which the Court granted standing to environmental groups who sued a polluter under the Clean Water Act because environmental damage caused by the defendant had deterred members of the plaintiff organizations from using and enjoying certain lands and rivers. Friends of the Earth, 528 U.S. at 181-183. The Court there held that the affidavits and testimony presented by plaintiffs were sufficient to establish reasonable concerns about the effects of those discharges and were more than "general averments" and "conclusory allegations." Friends of the Earth, 528 U.S. at 183-184. The court distinguished the case from Lujan, in which the Court had held that no actual injury had been established where [*21]