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Secret FISA court appointment disclosed

[JURIST] US Chief Justice John Roberts [official profile] has appointed US District Judge and former Whitewater prosecutor John D. Bates [official profile] to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder] to replace US District Judge James Robertson [official profile], who resigned [JURIST report] last December, purportedly in protest over the controversial warrantless domestic eavesdropping program [JURIST news archive] promulgated by the Bush administration. Roberts secretly chose Bates to replace Robertson in February, but news of the appointment only came Friday after the Federation of American Scientists [advocacy website] reported in its Secrecy News [report] newsletter that Bates’ appointment had appeared in his own official online biography.

The FISC reviews applications for domestic intelligence surveillance and search warrant requests under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [text; FAS materials]. AP has more.

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