A judge's ruling Friday that the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' phone records is lawful — which flies in the face of another judge's opinion — will likely bring the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan says.
"[This] will wind up going up on appeal to what's called the circuit court … the intermediate court on the way to the Supreme Court," Callan told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Now, if all of the circuit courts agree that this is either legal or illegal, the Supreme Court would never have to look at it, but usually what happens is some of the circuits will rule one way and others will rule another way and then the Supreme Court has resolve it."
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Friday's decision by U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan dramatically differed from a ruling by another judge earlier this month that questioned the constitutionality of the NSA program.
Callan, a former New York City prosecutor, said the issue of privacy rights for American citizens does not cut clearly along ideological lines.
"I don't think you can say conservatives would necessarily be on one side of this and liberals on the other because even conservatives believe that Americans have privacy rights," he said.
"Conservatives are very suspicious of big government and that sort of meshes with a lot of liberal suspicions. I mean liberals like the government to pay unemployment benefits and that sort of thing, but they're not too much in favor of government spying either."
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