Case: In re Motion for Release of Court Records

07-00001 | U.S. District Court for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Filed Date: Aug. 9, 2007

Closed Date: 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 9, 2007, the ACLU filed a motion with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) requesting release of the Court's records regarding the government's surveillance of foreign terrorists. Specifically, the ACLU requested release of sealed orders from January 10, 2007, and any government briefs or subsequent orders connected with the January 10 orders. The ACLU argued that, like any other federal court, the FISA Court had the authority to unseal its own documents, and that …

On August 9, 2007, the ACLU filed a motion with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) requesting release of the Court's records regarding the government's surveillance of foreign terrorists. Specifically, the ACLU requested release of sealed orders from January 10, 2007, and any government briefs or subsequent orders connected with the January 10 orders. The ACLU argued that, like any other federal court, the FISA Court had the authority to unseal its own documents, and that there was a substantial public interest as well as a First Amendment interest in release of those records to the public.

On August 31, 2007, the government responded to the ACLU's request, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the ACLU's motion, and that the public had no right of access to the information in the sealed documents.

In an order dated December 11, 2007, the FISA Court (Judge John D. Bates) held that while the Court did have jurisdiction to hear the motion, there was no First Amendment nor common law right of access to the sealed records. Therefore, the Court declined to unseal any of the records the ACLU was requesting.

On December 12, 2014, DOJ, in conjuction with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) declassified redacted versions of four FISA Court orders from early 2007, including two January 10 orders, as well as two government memoranda relating to the surveillance orders. For a discussion of the contents of those documents, see NS-DC-50 in this Clearinghouse.

Summary Authors

Edward Mroczkowski (5/4/2015)

People


Judge(s)

Bates, John D. (District of Columbia)

Kollar-Kotelly, Colleen (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bargzie, Nasrina (California)

Goodman, Melissa (New York)

Jaffer, Jameel (New York)

Kolbi-Molinas, Alexa Rebecca (New York)

Shapiro, Steven R. (New York)

Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Anzaldi, Matthew A. (District of Columbia)

Demers, John C. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Bates, John D. (District of Columbia)

Kollar-Kotelly, Colleen (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bargzie, Nasrina (California)

Goodman, Melissa (New York)

Jaffer, Jameel (New York)

Kolbi-Molinas, Alexa Rebecca (New York)

Shapiro, Steven R. (New York)

Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Anzaldi, Matthew A. (District of Columbia)

Demers, John C. (District of Columbia)

Olsen, Matthew G. (District of Columbia)

Patterson, Nicholas J. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Motion of the American Civil Liberties Union for Release of Court Records

In re Certain Orders Issued by this Court on January 10, 2007, and Subsequently Extended, Modified, and/or Vacated

Aug. 8, 2007 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Scheduling Order

Aug. 16, 2007 Order/Opinion

Opposition for the American Civil Liberties Union's Motion for Release of Court Records

Aug. 31, 2007 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Reply of the American Civil Liberties Union in Support of Motion for Release of Court Records

Sept. 14, 2007 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Memorandum Opinion

526 F.Supp.2d 484

Dec. 11, 2007 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—Foreign Targeting (702, 703, 704)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 9, 2007

Closing Date: 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

ACLU

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

US Government (Washtington), Federal

Case Details

Availably Documents:

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Courts

Other

Records Disclosure