United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review
The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR) is a U.S. federal court authorized under 50 U.S.C. § 1803 and established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (known as FISA for short). It is a three judge panel whose sole purpose is to review denials of applications for electronic surveillance warrants (called FISA warrants) by the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (or FISC). Each judge of the FISC, in turn, has the jurisdiction to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal police agencies (primarily the Federal Bureau of Investigation) against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the United States. Any appeals from the Court of Review are made directly to the Supreme Court. The Court of Review is not an adversarial court; rather, the only party to the court is the federal government, although other parties may submit briefs as amici curiae. Records of the proceedings are kept, but they are classified, although copies of the proceedings with sensitive information redacted may be made public.
The judges of the Court of Review are district or appellate federal judges, appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States for seven year terms. The terms are staggered so that there are at least two years between consecutive appointments. A judge may be appointed only once to either this court or the FISC.
The Court of Review was called into session for the first time in 2002 in a case referred to as "In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001". The FISC had granted a FISA warrant to the F.B.I., but had placed restrictions on its use; specifically, the F.B.I. was denied the ability to use evidence gathered under the warrant in criminal cases. The Court of Review allowed a coalition of civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to file briefs as amici curiae arguing against the F.B.I's new surveillance regulations. The Court of Review held that the restrictions that the FISC had placed on the warrant violated both FISA and the USA PATRIOT Act and that there was no constitutional requirement for those restrictions.
In August 2008, the Court of Review affirmed the constitutionality of Protect America Act of 2007 in a heavily redacted opinion, In re Directives [redacted text] Pursuant to Section 105B of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, released on January 15, 2009, which was only the second such public ruling since the enactment of the FISA Act.
Composition of the court
|Morris S. Arnold (presiding)||Eighth||May 19, 2008||May 18, 2015|
|William Curtis Bryson||Federal||May 19, 2011||May 18, 2018|
List of former judges
|Bruce Marshall Selya||First||October 8, 2005||May 18, 2012|
|Ralph K. Winter, Jr.||Second||May 18, 2003||May 18, 2010|
|Laurence H. Silberman||D.C.||May 18, 1996||May 18, 2003|
|Ralph B. Guy, Jr.||Sixth||October 8, 1998||May 18, 2005|
|Edward Leavy||Ninth||September 25, 2001||May 18, 2008|
|Paul Hitch Roney (presiding)||Eleventh||1994||2001|
The exact dates of Judges Silberman's and Roney's tenures are uncertain.
- 2013 membership
- "Judge Paul H. Roney". http://web.archive.org/web/20060923115648/http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/about/judges/roney.php. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
- "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court 2006 Membership". from the Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved July 25, 2006.
- "Members of the Foreign Intelligence Court of Review". San Francisco Chronicle, September 1, 2002. Retrieved January 20, 2006.
- Risen, James; Lichtblau, Eric (January 16, 2009). "Court Affirms Wiretapping Without Warrants". New York Times, January 15, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- Perez, Evan (January 16, 2009). "Court Backs U.S. Wiretapping". Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- "Intelligence Court Releases Ruling in Favor of Warrantless Wiretapping". Washington Post, January 15, 2009. January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- "Court ruling endorses Bush surveillance policy". Associated Press, January 15, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- "No. 08-01 IN RE: DIRECTIVE (Redacted) * PURSUANT TO SECTION 105B OF THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT (redacted tect) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW OF A DECISION OF THE UNITED STATES FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT". United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. August 22, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- Pudlow, Jan (September 1, 2000). "Nixon era judges celebrate 30 years on the bench". The Florida Bar News, September 1, 2000. Retrieved September 30, 2012.