Justice Department Must Release Documents on NSA Spying Program, Judge Rules

February 16, 2006 12:00 am

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ACLU Calls Decision a Blow to President's Illegal Surveillance Program

NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed a federal court order directing the Justice Department to turn over documents on the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program within 20 days, or to provide a list of specific documents it is withholding. U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy's order comes in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit which the ACLU joined earlier this month.

The following can be attributed to ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero:

"Today's court order deals a blow to the Bush administration's illegal surveillance program. Regardless of what the president claims, the law is clear -- the government cannot spy on Americans without court warrants. The American people have a right to know if the government is spying on them. Now, the Justice Department must turn over documents showing the extent of the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program."

"The president has taken a number of steps that are not only wrong, but also illegal. This abuse of power is dangerous and must be stopped by Congress and the courts. Today's court order is an important step in restoring the balance of powers that is essential to our freedom and democracy."

For more information on the ACLU's challenge to the NSA warrantless surveillance program, go to www.aclu.org/nsaspying

To read the ACLU's call for the Senate to demand information on the illegal NSA spying program go to www.aclu.org/safefree/general/24179prs20060216.html

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