Judge Collyer Named to Intelligence Surveillance Court

03.15.13 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the D.C. District Court was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to a seven year term on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The Court provides a measure of judicial oversight over surveillance activities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended.

Judge Collyer’s term on the FIS Court began on March 8, 2013 and will conclude on March 7, 2020.  She replaces Judge John D. Bates, whose term ended on February 21.  Her appointment was confirmed by Sheldon Snook, spokesman for the Court.

A roster of the current membership of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court can be found here.

The Court has acknowledged receipt of a letter from several members of the Senate requesting that the Court prepare summaries of its legal interpretations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in order to facilitate their declassification and public release.  But no further action has yet been taken by the Court, as far as could be determined.

Judge Collyer was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush. In September 2011, she authored an opinion accepting the CIA’s view that for the CIA merely to acknowledge the fact that it had an interest in the use of drones for targeted killing would pose unacceptable damage to national security.

Today, the DC District of Appeals unanimously reversed Judge Collyer’s decision.  The appeals court said the CIA was adhering to “a fiction of deniability that no reasonable person would regard as plausible.”  The case — American Civil Liberties Union v. Central Intelligence Agency — was remanded to Judge Collyer for further processing.