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The Supreme Court says it will consider shutting down a legal challenge to a law that lets the United States eavesdrop on overseas communications.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that a lawsuit filed by lawyers, journalists and human rights groups objecting to the latest version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act could proceed. But the Obama administration appealed, and the justices said Monday they will take up the case in the fall.

The lawsuit was brought by those in jobs that require them to speak with people overseas who are possible targets of the surveillance.

No court has ruled on the merits of the lawsuit. The current legal fight is over whether the law's challengers are entitled to make their case in federal court.

The administration says the lawsuit should be dismissed because the plaintiffs only have a fear of having their communications intercepted — as opposed to citing specific instances — which the administration says is insufficient for asking federal judges to intervene. The law's challengers, however, argue that they already have taken costly and burdensome steps to protect the confidentiality of their overseas communications, based on a reasonable belief that the government could be monitoring their calls.


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