In the ruling, issued late Thursday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker held that the privacy harm to millions of Americans from the illegal spying dragnet was not a "particularized injury" but instead a "generalized grievance" because almost everyone in the United States has a phone and Internet service.More at the link. I have no understanding of the legal argument involved, which was explained in a Reddit discussion thread -
"The alarming upshot of the court's decision is that so long as the government spies on all Americans, the courts have no power to review or halt such mass surveillance even when it is flatly illegal and unconstitutional..."
The plaintiffs didn't have standing. One of the elements of standing is that you cannot bring a claim for a general grievance. An injury that is felt by everyone or almost everyone can theoretically be dealt with by the elected branches of government, and our constitution says that they are the ones who should deal with those types of problems. Because the alleged injury in this case was not particular to the plaintiffs, but instead was suffered by millions and millions of Americans, they did not have standing and the case had to be dismissed. It is disappointing but not surprising, as that is how standing always works...- but I don't like the decision and its implications.