The leaks of classified National Security Agency information by former contractor Edward Snowden could have "a point" if the exposure of the NSA's data collection program is upheld by the Supreme Court, TV talk show host Joe Scarborough said Tuesday.
"If, let's say, this is held up to the United States Supreme Court. If somebody exposes, like, something that would be deeply offensive to James Madison and the framers of the Constitution, I think Edward Snowden has a point," Scarborough said on hid MSNBC "Morning Joe" program Tuesday.
The comment followed a ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon that the NSA's mass collection of phone records is unconstitutional.
"If what the NSA did last year, what the government has been doing for some time, violates the most sacred tenets of the Constitution . . . does Edward Snowden then become a whistleblower?" Scarborough asked, suggesting that he could end up receiving certain protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Until Leon's ruling Monday, the NSA's spying programs had never been challenged in open court, NY Magazine National Affairs Editor and MSNBC contributor John Heilemann observed on "Morning Joe." He said Snowden exposed the NSA program so that it would be argued in an open court of law.
"He said he wanted to expose the program so that it could be challenged in open court, which had never been able to have been done before, because of the nature of the program. It's now been challenged in open court," Heilemann said.
The ruling was a "pretty stinging rebuke to the program," he added.
"Edward Snowden, at least for today, stands pretty fairly vindicated, in terms of what he did, what he said he wanted to do. Now, seems like he can take a victory lap, at least one temporarily," Heilemann said.
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