[JURIST] A judge on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [JURIST news archive] (FISA) court said in an order [PDF text] released Friday that the court would consider [ACLU press release] what she called an "unprecedented" ACLU motion [PDF text; JURIST report] to release to the public hitherto-classified rulings on the extent of the US government's wiretapping authority. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly directed the government to file a response to the motion by August 31. The Department of Justice has not yet indicated whether it will oppose the motion.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [FJC backgrounder] does not hold public hearings and has traditionally confined itself to releasing annual summaries of the number of wiretaps it has approved. Its only public rulings were released in 1981 and 2002, the latter dealing with interpretation of the USA Patriot Act. The New York Times has more.