Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 7, 2015

Eight Senators: Reveal FISA Court Decisions

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A bipartisan group of eight senators, including the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, are pushing to declassify important FISA court opinions in the wake of last week’s leaks about National Security Agency surveillance.

“There is plenty of room to have this debate without compromising our surveillance sources or methods or tipping our hand to our enemies. We can’t have a serious debate about how much surveillance of Americans’ communications should be permitted without ending secret law,” Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a statement announcing the bill.
Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy highlighted his past efforts to reveal more about the effect of provisions of the Patriot Act, which has at times put the Vermont Democrat in direct conflict with Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Feinstein also happens to sit on the Judiciary Committee.

“For years, I have pressed for information about the business records program authorized by the PATRIOT Act to be declassified,” Leahy said. “I am proud to join in this bipartisan legislative effort to increase openness and transparency so that we can shed further light on the business records program authorized by this law.”

Last week’s revelations about the NSA have brought increased attention to the court, which operates in secret under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It is the FISA court that required Verizon to provide bulk telephone logs to the NSA.

The other senators involved in the new effort are Republicans Mike Lee of Utah and Dean Heller of Nevada, along with Democrats Mark Begich of Alaska, Al Franken of Minnesota, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Jon Tester of Montana.

The bill follows a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in which he said he’s exploring a lawsuit to overturn FISA court decisions.

Comments (4)

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  1. rmm200

    June 11, 2013
    10:44 a.m.

    OK – that gives us eight representatives we can probably trust.
    Not many – but it is a start.
    We really need a full list – which will require all representatives to state their position.

  2. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    2:07 p.m.

    Together with the whole thing which seems to be developing inside this specific subject material, a significant percentage of perspectives are actually very radical. On the other hand, I am sorry, because I do not give credence to your entire idea, all be it stimulating none the less. It appears to me that your remarks are not totally validated and in actuality you are generally yourself not really wholly convinced of the argument. In any event I did enjoy reading through it.

  3. Anonymous

    July 6, 2015
    5:18 p.m.

    I really like forgathering utile info, this post has got me even more info! .

  4. Anonymous

    5:18 p.m.

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

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