U.S. Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC) has joined fifteen of his colleagues in filing an amicus brief supporting the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) motion requesting that the courts established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) release its opinions on surveillance requests. The filing comes after the revelation that the National Security Agency (NSA) conducted broad surveillance techniques on American telephone users.
"It is important to better understand how Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is being implemented and where there is room for improvement," Rep. Sanford said. "Requiring the FISA courts to make their opinions public could prove an important step toward better protecting America from terrorism without compromising the constitutional rights of its citizens."
Specifically, the amicus brief requests that the FISA courts publish their opinions related to the "meaning, scope and constitutionality of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act." The amicus brief is available here.
The ACLU's motion is available here.
Rep. Sanford, who serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security, is also a co-sponsor of the LIBERT-E Act, which in part requires the publication of significant FISA court opinions.