SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2012, Issue No. 65
July 10, 2012

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

A NEW JUDGE FOR THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT

Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Eastern District of New York was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on July 2 by the Chief Justice of the United States.

The 11-member FIS Court rules on applications for domestic intelligence surveillance and physical search under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Judge Dearie replaces Judge Malcolm Howard whose seven-year term expired on May 18, 2012.

Judge Dearie's appointment last week was confirmed today by Sheldon L. Snook, a spokesman for the Court. The current membership of the FIS Court may be found here:

Judge Dearie was nominated to the federal bench by President Reagan in February 1986. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has played a role in at least one case presided over by Judge Dearie, namely that of Najibullah Zazi. In 2009, prosecutors in that case gave notice of their intent to use evidence obtained through FISA surveillance.

In the event, Zazi pled guilty in 2010 to multiple charges of conspiracy and support for a terrorist organization.


A CONVENTION TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION, AND MORE FROM CRS

Article V of the U.S. Constitution prescribes two ways by which the Constitution can be amended: Either Congress may propose amendments for ratification by the states, or else a majority of state legislatures may ask Congress to call a convention for considering amendments.

A new report by the Congressional Research Service examines the possibility of a convention to amend the Constitution. That option has never been used in practice but, CRS says, it could become newly appealing under present circumstances.

"Various contemporary developments could contribute to a renewal of congressional interest in the Article V Convention alternative," the new CRS report said. "The emergence of Internet and social media-driven public policy and issue campaigns has combined with renewed interest in specific constitutional amendments, and the Article V Convention procedure in general, as a means of bypassing perceived policy deadlock at the federal level."

However, "The Constitution provides only a brief description of the Article V Convention process, leaving many details that would need to be considered if a convention were to become a serious prospect."

A copy of the new CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News. See "The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress," July 9, 2012:

Other new and updated CRS reports that have not been approved by Congress for broad public access include the following.

Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers, July 9, 2012:

U.S. Postal Service: Background and Analysis of H.R. 2309 and S.1789 in the 112th Congress, July 9, 2012:

Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues, July 6, 2012:

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information, June 26, 2012:

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Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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