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Former FISA court judge to discuss “A Better Secret Court” Sept. 5

James G. Carr, a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio who served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for six years, will discuss the FISA court’s history and recent controversy during a lecture Sept. 5 at The University of Toledo College of Law.


The free, public talk titled “A Better Secret Court” will be noon, Thursday, Sept. 5, in the College of Law’s McQuade Law Auditorium.

Congress created the FISA 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.

Judge Carr has suggested, in a New York Times Op-Ed and in testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee this month, 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 FISA court and a national expert on electronic surveillance in the person of Judge Carr,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the College of Law. “We welcome the opportunity to hear his thoughts on the latest revelations about NSA surveillance.”

Carr is a senior federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He was nominated by President William J. Clinton in 1994, and served on the FISA Court 2002-2008 and as chief judge 2004-2010. Before being appointed to the federal bench, Judge Carr spent time in private practice in Chicago, as a professor at The University of Toledo 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.

Click here to download a photo of Carr.

Media Coverage
The Blade (Sept. 5, 2013)


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