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DOJ asks federal appeals court to drop 'moot' domestic surveillance lawsuit

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] asked [submission, PDF; declaration, PDF] the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Thursday to drop the DOJ's appeal [JURIST report] of a lower court ruling [PDF opinion] declaring the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] unconstitutional. The Justice Department argued that the lawsuit [ACLU case materials] is moot because "electronic surveillance not subject to the FISC court" no longer exists. Ann Beeson [official profile], associate legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website], told AP that the ACLU plans to file a response Friday, as "the case is not moot if there's any remote possibility that the government is going to violate the law again."

The Bush Administration announced last Wednesday that it will begin to submit all domestic surveillance requests [JURIST report] to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder) for review and approval under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in a letter [text, PDF; US DOJ background briefing transcript, DOC] sent by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. AP has more.

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