FISA Court Judge Resigns In Response to Domestic Surveillance Program

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 21, 2005

Via FAS: “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was created by section 103(a) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1803(a)). It was originally comprised of seven district judges from seven circuits named by the Chief Justice of the United States to serve a maximum of 7 years. In 2001, the U.S.A. Patriot Act (section 208) amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to increase the number of FIS Court judges from seven to eleven, “of whom no fewer than 3 shall reside within 20 miles of the District of Columbia.”

  • News from several sources, including AP, and the Washington Post, on continued repercussions from the disclosure of domestic spying: U.S. District Judge James Robertson, in a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., delivered the evening of December 20, resigned from the FISA Court (he was appointed on 5/19/02). Although he provided no details in his resignation letter, reports indicate that his action was prompted by opposition to the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the President. and documented in previous postings.
    Related news:

  • New York Times: Spying Program Snared U.S. Calls: “A surveillance program approved by President Bush to conduct eavesdropping without warrants has captured what are purely domestic communications in some cases, despite a requirement by the White House that one end of the intercepted conversations take place on foreign soil, officials say.”
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