NFOIC signs brief, urging access to opinions of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

The National Freedom of Information Coalition, along with 30 other organizations, signed a Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press amicus brief in support of greater access to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions and orders.

Several organizations in recent years have sought access to the specialized court’s opinions. In April 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ACLU petitioned the Supreme Court to review decisions made by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its court of review, which have declared they lack jurisdiction to allow access to opinions.

“[B]oth logic and experience support a qualified First Amendment right of access to opinions and orders of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court], including those containing novel or significant interpretations of law,” the Reporters Committee amicus brief reads. “[D]ecisions that effectively deny any third party the ability to even litigate that question would, if allowed to stand, prevent the press from informing the public about important developments in national security practices that implicate the civil liberties and privacy of millions of individuals in the United States.”