During an hourlong hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington, Judge Richard Leon repeatedly urged the conservative lawyer who brought the suit to take steps to allow the case to move forward quickly by asking a federal appeals court to formally relinquish control over an appeal in the case.
Leon noted that the so-called bulk collection program is set to shut down on November 29 as part of a transition to a new system where queries will be sent to telephone companies rather than to a central database stored at the NSA.
“The clock is running and there isn’t much time between now and November 29,” Leon told conservative gadfly Larry Klayman. “This court believes there are millions and millions of Americans whose constitutional rights have been and are being violated, but the window…for action is very small….It’s time to move.”
Leon also told Justice Department lawyers that he was intent on moving the case forward and would not countenance any stalling aimed at preventing him from acting in the case before the program, aimed at aiding terrorism investigations, ends.