A secret U.S. intelligence court has ordered the Bush administration to register its views about a records request by the American Civil Liberties Union, which wants the court to release a series of pivotal orders issued earlier this year about the National Security Agency's wiretapping program.
In a scheduling order issued Thursday and released yesterday by the ACLU, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court instructed the government to respond to the ACLU's request by Aug. 31. The civil liberties group has until Sept. 14 to file its own response.
"This is an unprecedented request that warrants further briefing," wrote U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who serves as the intelligence court's presiding judge.
David B. Rivkin Jr., a partner at Baker Hostetler and a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration, said he is skeptical that the ACLU can pry loose the orders. Rivkin also argued that it is unclear whether the secret court, which meets inside the Justice Department building, has the authority to release such documents over objections from the executive branch.
"The order is unusual, and the request is also unusual," Rivkin said. "But I would be amazed if that request were granted in the end."
I think everybody, including the ACLU knows exactly what the White House's view is going to be.
Stop the ACLU phrases this perfectly:
Merv points out that The ACLU’s argument is based on the false premise that our enemies in a time of war have a privacy right under the constitution. Always over the top and relentless in their pursuit, the ACLU never take into account the dangers they pose to the very liberties they claim to protect. Their irresponsible and reckless ways towards these things need to be checked. I’m sure the government’s response will be a big negative and the ACLU will respond in kind with their usual whining. Its been a losing battle for them so far on this issue, and I expect and hope that will continue.
Al Qaeda can always count on our most liberal advocates to give them our secrets. If it isn’t the NY Times, they can always count on the ACLU.
The ACLU never gives up in its attempt to help our enemies, the quotes above are right, but in this case, we all know the White House's answer will be a politely written "POUND SAND".
SCOTUSblog informs us that even in the White Houses response, portions of it that is submitted to the ACLU can be "censored".
The call for briefing, dated Thursday, called the ACLU motion "an unprecedented request that warrants further briefing." The government was told by file a response in two weeks, by Aug. 31, and to supply the ACLU with a copy -- censored, if necessary, to exclude secret material. The ACLU was given until Sept. 14 to reply.
I cannot wait to see how the wording of the "screw you" response, to ACLU, is handled.