schwit1 sends news that the Obama Administration has made a legal request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to ignore a ruling from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals making bulk surveillance illegal. The government says it’s doing so to create an “orderly transition” between now and the beginning of USA Freedom Act provisions in six months. Their legal argument is that the Circuit Court’s rulings are only binding for lower courts — the FISA court is secretive and separated from the normal legal process, so it doesn’t necessarily fit in the normal court hierarchy. ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer said, “While the FISA court isn’t formally bound by the second circuit’s ruling, it will certainly have to grapple with the second circuit’s interpretation of the ‘relevance’ requirement. The [court] will also have to consider whether Congress effectively adopted the second circuit’s interpretation of the relevance requirement when it passed the USA Freedom Act.” The issue is further complicated because the Circuit Court did not actually issue an injunction against bulk surveillance, deferring instead to the congressional debate already underway about the Patriot Act and USA Freedom Act.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.