In yesterday’s New York Times, Neal Katyal explains why courts (includingthe FISA court) are s not suitable for review of targeting decisions, but instead offers yet another proposal–an internal executive Branch court with lawyers assigned to “defend” those being targeted:
But the drone court idea is a mistake. It is hard to think of something less suitable for a federal judge to rule on than the fast-moving and protean nature of targeting decisions.
Fortunately, a better solution exists: a “national security court” housed within the executive branch itself. Experts, not generalists, would rule; pressing concerns about classified information would be minimized; and speedy decisions would be easier to reach.
. . .
Imagine instead that the president had an internal court, staffed by expert lawyers to represent both sides. Those lawyers, like the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the military, would switch sides every few years, to develop both expertise as repeat players and the ability to understand the other point of view.
The adjudicator would be a panel of the president’s most senior national security advisers, who would issue decisions in writing if at all possible. Those decisions would later be given to the Congressional intelligence committees for review. Crucially, the president would be able to overrule this court, and take whatever action he thought appropriate, but would have to explain himself afterward to Congress.
Read it all here. What do you think?
Charles A. Blanchard
United States Air Force