Who Should Listen In?

The tragedy of American fears concerning Terrorism continue to impact our daily lives as citizens. James Robertson, a judge who prior to retiring was a member of special courts set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has declared his concerns about the use of Fisa courts. He is shocked by changes that allow sweeping authorization for programs that allow gathering of phone records. He notes changes that have been made in Fisa since it was initially formed. “What Fisa does is not adjudication but approval. This works just fine when it deals with individual applications for warrants,  but the 2008 amendment has turned the Fisa court into an administrative agency making rules for others to follow.” He emphasized that “it is not the bailiwick  of judges to make policy.”

Robertson raised a key issue that Fisa currently hears one side of the story and never is informed of how others think . “The process needs an adversary. If not the ACLU or Amnesty, perhaps the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.”

It is time for President Obama to return to his former role of a professor of constitutional law?

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