Mikulski asks SCOTUS to decide constitutionality of NSA programs

Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiThis week: Shutdown deadline looms over Congress Week ahead: Key court date for climate rule; Fight over Flint aid Week ahead: Spending fight shifts from Zika to Flint MORE (D-Md.) said Wednesday that she thinks President Obama should ask the Supreme Court to make an expedited ruling on whether the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs are constitutional.

Mikulski said she’d support reforms to the program, which has been collecting data on U.S. citizens, but that lawmakers should show NSA workers more respect.

“The morale at that agency is not in a healthy situation,” Mikulski said on the Senate floor. “We’ve got to do something about that by showing respect for the people who work there. … Don’t blame them for the job we asked them to do.”

A former government contractor, Edward Snowden recently released secret information about the NSA surveillance program causing lawmakers and citizens to become outraged over privacy issues.

Mikulski said the outrage is justified but that people should keep in mind that not all of the NSA’s programs are bad. She pointed out that the agency’s core mission is to protect Americans from terrorists.

Many of NSA’s workers are based in her home state.