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News Link • Government

Before We Promote Verrilli to Attorney General, Let's Ask Him About That Time...

•, By Dan Novack

Given reports that President Obama may promote U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to Attorney General, perhaps it's worth revisiting the time he misled the Supreme Court.

Let's travel back to the year 1 BS (Before Snowden), or 2012 for those still on the Gregorian Calendar — before National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed just how pervasive government spying had become. The American Civil Liberties Union was challenging the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, Section 702 of which allows warrantless surveillance of any targets reasonably believed to be located outside the U.S. or of any group reasonably believed to not be "substantially" composed of Americans.

The government was eager to have the case dismissed, so Verrilli, addressing the Supreme Court on its behalf, offered up an alternate plaintiff: terrorists. He assured the court that since the law mandates criminal defendants receive notice of surveillance used against them, terrorists should be the ones to challenge the law rather than the ACLU, which could not prove its clients had been affected.

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