The Bush administration is using extraordinary secrecy in defending the National Security Agency's classified domestic surveillance program from lawsuits, says the New York Times. Plaintiffs and judges' clerks cannot see its secret filings. Judges must make appointments to review them and are not allowed to keep copies. Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit who will hear the first appeal next week expressed uneasiness about the procedures, said a lawyer who attended a meeting with them, Ann Beeson of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Law Prof. Nancy Marder of the Chicago-Kent College of Law called the government tactics extreme and troubling. The Justice Department responded that the documents in the case are “stored securely and without alteration.” After the Bush administration announcement last week that it would submit the program to a secret court, ending its eavesdropping without warrants, the Justice Department said the legal challenge should be dismissed as moot. The ACLU disagrees.