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Federal appeals judge appointed to top post at FISA review court

[JURIST] Bruce Selya [official profile], a senior circuit judge for the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has been designated as presiding judge of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review [FJC backgrounder]. The designation was made by US Chief Justice John Roberts [Oyez profile; JURIST news archive], in an order dated March 27. The appointment will be effective May 19. The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review is the appellate panel of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and reviews rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court at the request of the government. AP has more. The Providence Journal has local coverage.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established by Congress in 1978 under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [text, JURIST news archive] to review applications for warrants related to national security investigations and surveillance [JURIST news archive]. The court rarely publishes opinions, and due to the sensitive nature of the matters it hears, members are not permitted to discuss the business of the court. In March, US Attorney General Michael Mukasey expressed a willingness to compromise with Congress [JURIST report] on legislation amending FISA.

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