Oct 292013
 
 October 29, 2013  Court, Surveillance, U.S.

Andrea Peterson reports:

The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice recently changed policies, and will be notifying a criminal defendant that the evidence being used against them came from a warrantless wiretap. Just one problem: Justice told the Supreme Court that was standard policy already earlier this year.

[…]

In February, the Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to FISA Amendments Act (FAA) surveillance programs brought by Amnesty International on standing grounds — agreeing with the government that since Amnesty International could not prove that it was the victim surveillance at the time, it had no right to sue. That 5-4 decision at least partially relied on an argument made by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. that while Amnesty International did not have grounds to sue, others might because “the government must provide advance notice of its intent to use information obtained or derived” from the laws. …..  But in June, the Times reports Verrilli discovered that Justice’s National Security Division had actually not been notifying criminal defendants when evidence used against them was derived from warrantless snooping early in the investigative chain. This set off a months-long internal policy debate over whether or not Justice should be doing what they told the Supreme Court they were already doing.

Read more on The Washington Post.

So does the government get to escape any consequences for having  misrepresented to the U.S. Supreme Court? Can SCOTUS re-open the case on its own initiative if it becomes aware of a material misrepresentation? I don’t know enough law to understand what happens under such circumstances, but dammit, the government shouldn’t be allowed to lie to Congress and the courts, should they?

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