U.S. District Judge James G. Carr, who served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for six years, will discuss the court’s history and recent controversy during a lecture at the UT College of Law Thursday, Sept. 5.The free, public talk titled “A Better Secret Court” will be held at noon in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.
Congress created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 1978 as a check on executive authority. Recent disclosures about vast data gathering by the National Security Agency as part of its PRISM surveillance program have raised concerns about the court’s effectiveness in protecting American citizens.
Carr has suggested, in a New York Times op-ed and in testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, that Congress take a simple step to restore confidence in the court’s impartiality and integrity: authorize its judges to appoint lawyers to serve the public interest when novel legal issues come before it.
“We are very fortunate to have in Toledo a former member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and a national expert on electronic surveillance in the person of Judge Carr,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the UT College of Law. “We welcome the opportunity to hear his thoughts on the latest revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.”
Carr is a senior federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 2002 to 2008 and as chief judge from 2004 to 2010.
Before being appointed to the federal bench, Carr spent time in private practice in Chicago, as a professor at the UT College of Law, and as a magistrate for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
He is a graduate of Kenyon College and Harvard Law School.