DOJ Asks FISA Court to Review New Law in Secret Without Amicus Briefs

Via the ACLU (link will be up here shortly):

In a brief filed late yesterday with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the Bush administration asked that any review of the new warrantless surveillance law be kept secret and that the court refuse to accept legal briefs from anyone other than the Justice Department itself. The government is responding to a motion the American Civil Liberties Union filed earlier this month asking the FISC to ensure that any proceedings relating to the scope, meaning or constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) be open to the public to the extent possible.

As to the lack of transparency the Bush Administration is seeking, the ACLU says: [More...}

“The government is proposing that the intelligence court should consider the constitutionality of the new surveillance law in proceedings that will be entirely secret. If the government’s request is granted, the court won’t hear arguments from anyone except the government and those arguments will be presented to the court in secret briefs. At the end of the process, the court will issue a ruling that is also secret. The process the government is proposing is completely unacceptable. Especially because the new surveillance law departs so significantly from the standards that have applied to government surveillance for the last 30 years, any proceedings relating to the new law’s constitutionality should be adversarial and as informed and transparent as possible.”

Separately, the ACLU and other groups have asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to hold the new FISA Act unconstitutional. The webpage for the legal challenges to the new act is here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    They just won't quit, will they? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 12:29:34 PM EST
    Now that they got the FISA bill they wanted - the one that ensures they will be able to continue to violate the Constitution - they want to protect it by making sure they are the only ones who get to argue whether it is constitutional.

    Give them an inch and they always - always - take a mile.

    This should be Exhibit One in "Why the FISA bill should have been killed."

    Sen. Obama's vote on FISA (none / 0) (#2)
    by zfran on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 12:42:19 PM EST
    continues to seal FISA's fate now and for the future.

    Pelosi on radio interview tried to explain (none / 0) (#4)
    by imhotep on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:30:17 PM EST
    away the reason she supported it.  "The Senate made me do it."

    secrets? what are they so ashamed of that (none / 0) (#3)
    by hellothere on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:59:23 PM EST
    the light of day scares them? those who vote to have mine and your rights removed leaves me thinking craven. that applies to both parties in my book. the deal is the original review by a judge worked fine, but no that's not enough. why is that? the light of day needs to shine on this.

    Kafka Would Be Stunned (none / 0) (#5)
    by msaroff on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 10:27:56 PM EST
    This is so beyond Kafka that there is no word for this.