The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on the controversial 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in the first of its kind, the court announced Monday.
The 1978 FISA allows federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to secretly gather information on persons suspected to be foreign agents engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States. To obtain a FISA surveillance warrant, the Justice Department must present evidence to a secret FISA court, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
Currently, that evidence is kept secret under the state-secrets privilege. However, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is arguing that a federal judge must be able to review that evidence to determine if the surveillance was justified. The Supreme Court will decide whether the FISA’s Section 1806(f) displaces the state-secrets privilege and authorizes federal judge to consider the privileged evidence in order to resolve