ACLU: Court should not issue a secret opinion after hearing secret arguments — and from only one side.

August 5, the ACLU replied to the Justice Department arguments against its access to the FISA Court , noting that it does not seek access to classified information, rather to address the constitutionality questions that are before the Court.

Because the FISA Amendments Act has such sweeping implications for therights of U.S. citizens and residents, any consideration of these issuesshould be adversarial and as informed and transparent as possible.
This Court should not issue a secret opinion after hearing secret arguments — and from only one side.

July 10, the same day that President Bush signed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 into law, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court to participate in future proceedings regarding the constitutionality of government procedures under the act.

Justice Department attorneys filed a July 29 opposition motion that the relevant procedures are classified, thus

there is nothing that the ACLU could contribute to the Court’s resolution….

As I noted earlier, a separate ACLU suit before the federal district court challenges the constitutionality of the FAA.

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