Court: We Don't Rubber Stamp All NSA Requests ...
... Just 75.6% of them, top judge testifies
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 16, 2013 2:30 PM CDT
In this file photo, US District Judge Reggie Walton gestures during a speech in Laurel, Md.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court doesn't just rubber stamp every request government spies send it, its top judge protests in a letter sent to Congress—just 75.6% of them. The Justice Department has previously revealed that the court approves 99% of NSA requests. But that number is misleading, Judge Reggie Walton said, because it doesn't "reflect the fact that many applications are altered prior to final submission, or even withheld from final submission entirely" after feedback from the court, Bloomberg reports.

Walton said he had reviewed an unspecified number of cases from July through September, and found that 24.4% of them "involved substantial changes… as a result of court inquiry." He admitted, however, that the finding was based on his reading of informal communications, and that what counted as "substantial" was often a "judgment call." Patrick Leahy said the letters did indicate that the court "is not a rubber stamp" but also that it is "tackling significant constitutional issues" it was never intended to tackle. For more on the secretive court, click here.

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BufordDoyle
Oct 17, 2013 10:17 AM CDT
This judge is making flimsy excuses for what he knows is illegal. It's a secret court, which is illegal by the constitution. There is no one representing the American people whose rights are affected by judges like this; it is illegal by the constitution to not have opposing parties. The only people present are the Dept of Justice which represents the President, Attorneys for the secret agency requesting secret actions/plans be approved, everything is sealed so absolutely no one except those present in the court know what's going on. The founders of this country knew this was the final nail in the coffin of liberty because secret courts have no check or balance. Eventually they start depriving liberty, property, and life by execution with no legal justification and with no one to explain it to the victim. We don't need to worry about fascist taking over our country; they have already accomplished it. And they did it like Hitler, democratically, because of a citizenry that was willing to throw the constitution out for a little security and comfort. I spent my life defending our constitution and now in the few years I have left I am watching the constitution being used to wipe the president's butt, with the permission of the voters. I hope my children's generation can correct this.
OuttaHere
Oct 17, 2013 7:30 AM CDT
The entire FISA process is a sham wrapped in the Constitution to give it a halo.
HANKHILL
Oct 17, 2013 7:29 AM CDT
they only do what barack insane obomber tells them to do!