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Federal judge: FISA court not a rubber stamp

Posted at 4:07 PM, Jul 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-11 12:27:03-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The outgoing chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington says perceptions that a secret court there acts as a rubber stamp for the government are wrong.

Royce Lamberth was chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 1995 to 2002. Among other things, the court oversees the National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs, now under scrutiny in the wake of revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.FISA

Lamberth points to himself as an example of someone who is known for taking on the government, as well other judges now on the FISA court.

Lamberth steps down Tuesday, when he turns 70, as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which houses the FISA court. He'll remain as a senior judge.