The Chief Justice of the United States has appointed Judge Martin L.C. Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana to a seven-year term on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, effective May 19, 2010. He replaces Judge George P. Kazen, whose term on the Court ends this month.
Judge Feldman’s appointment to the FISA Court has not been publicly announced, but it was confirmed for Secrecy News on Friday by Mr. Sheldon L. Snook of the DC District Court, who also serves as a spokesman for the secretive FISA Court.
The FISA Court reviews and approves government applications for counterintelligence surveillance and physical search under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The updated Court membership for 2010 may be found here.
Judge Feldman was appointed to the bench by President Reagan in 1983. Among his various other credentials and affiliations, he has served as an advisor to the “Court Appointed Scientific Experts” program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which assists courts in identifying scientific experts who can serve in judicial proceedings.
Judge Feldman was in the news earlier this year after he ruled in favor of the non-profit journalism organization ProPublica, finding that it had not committed libel in a news story about the mistreatment of medical patients following Hurricane Katrina. The news story in question, written by ProPublica reporter Sheri Fink and published in the New York Times Magazine, subsequently won a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.