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View Diary: Press, polls wrongly conflate Bush and Obama NSA surveillance (189 comments)

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  •  Here's how, if you'd care to be informed... (0+ / 0-)
    •  This in particular I found persuasive: (1+ / 0-)
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      In many ways the court is secretive, but one thing we do know is the members.  They are all sitting federal judges.  Here are a few who served recently:  Judge James Roberston, of the D.C. district court, was on the FISA court for a number of years until he resigned in 2005 to protest the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.  He was appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton, and early in his career worked for the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights under Law.  His public judicial work shows that he is anything but a rubber stamp for government police powers.  Yet he (apparently) rejected almost no applications, as there were only 11 rejections out of almost 34,000 from 1979-2012.  Or consider Judge James G. Carr, who served on the FISA Court from 2002-2008.  He was appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton, and is a former law professor who wrote an extensive treatise on wiretapping law.  I have practiced in front of Judge Carr; he, too, is no rubber stamp.

      It is definitely worth scrutinizing the FISA Court, but it is not a kangaroo court.

      The writer also points out that an application that foreseeably will be rejected (which the court will signal by asking for supplemental information that the government perhaps cannot provide) is often withdrawn by DOJ rather than denied by the court. So the "granted vs. denied" statistic is basically meaningless.

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