Intelligence Law School - Course 1: Lesson 5.5.4 Court Rules for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [HTML-Only]


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LESSON 5: ADMINISTRATIVE LAW


5.5 Court Rules


5.5.4 Court Rules for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court


Lecture Audio



Annotated Lecture Transcript

5.5.4 Court Rules for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

There is also a set of Court Rules governing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—a secret court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to hear government petitions for court orders to allow electronic surveillance and physical searches within the United States for foreign intelligence purposes.[1]

Most of the rulings of the FISA Court are classified, but the court rules governing its operations are open to public inspection.[2]

Changes made to these rules are made pursuant to the rulemaking procedures set out in 28 U.S.C. § 2071,[3] just like any other lower court.

 

And that is pretty much it for Legislative Branch and Judicial Branch Rules.

Court rules will be important in later courses.

But all you need to know for now is that these rules exist.

 

Footnotes

[1] See Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Rules of Procedure, available at http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/fisa.html; see also  Procedures for the Review of Petitions Filed Pursuant to Section 501(f) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, As Amended, available at http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/fisa.html; see also Elizabeth B. Bazan, Congressional Research Serv., The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions (2007), available at https://intelligencelaw.com/files/pdf/law_library/crs/RL30465_2-15-2007.pdf (“The FISC and the Court of Review may establish rules and procedures, and may take such actions, as are reasonably necessary to administer their responsibilities under FISA. [50 U.S.C. § 1803(f)(1), added by P.L. 109-177, Subsection 109(d)] The FISC has established the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Rules of Procedure, and Procedures for the Review of Petitions Filed Pursuant to Section 501(f) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, As Amended have also been adopted.”).

[2] See e.g. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Rules of Procedure, Rule 5(a) (Scope of Authority.  "Each Judge of the Court may exercise the authority vested by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended, 50 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq. ("the Act"), including the authority to issue an Order approving electronic surveillance or a physical search, and such other authority, consonant with Article III of the Constitution and other statutes and laws of the United States, to the extent not inconsistent with the Act.").

[3] See Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Rules of Procedure, Rule 2 ("Any amendment to these rules shall be prescribed and promulgated in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 2071."); but see 50 U.S.C. § 1803(g)(1) (g) (1) (“The courts established pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) may establish such rules and procedures, and take such actions, as are reasonably necessary to administer their responsibilities under this Act.”); see also Elizabeth B. Bazan, Congressional Research Serv., The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions (2007), available at https://intelligencelaw.com/files/pdf/law_library/crs/RL30465_2-15-2007.pdf (“The FISC and the Court of Review may establish rules and procedures, and may take such actions, as are reasonably necessary to administer their responsibilities under FISA. [50 U.S.C. § 1803(f)(1), added by P.L. 109-177, Subsection 109(d)] The FISC has established the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Rules of Procedure, and Procedures for the Review of Petitions Filed Pursuant to Section 501(f) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, As Amended have also been adopted.”).

 


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