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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
8/1/2013--Introduced. FISA Court Reform Act of 2013 - Establishes as an independent establishment in the executive branch an Office of the Special Advocate to protect individual rights by advocating in cases before courts established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) in support of legal interpretations that minimize the scope of surveillance and the extent of data collection and retention.
Directs the presiding judge of the FISA Court of Review to appoint a Special Advocate to serve as the head of such Office from a list of candidates submitted by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Requires the Special Advocate to: (1) review each application to the FISA Court by the Attorney General and each decision of the FISA Court or the FISA Court of Review, and (2) participate in proceedings before the FISA Court when appointed to participate by such Court.
Permits the Special Advocate to request to participate in such proceedings, request reconsideration of FISA Court decisions, and appeal or seek review of FISA Court or FISA Court of Review decisions.
Directs such Courts to promulgate rules to provide the public with information sufficient to allow interested parties to participate as amicus curiae.
Authorizes the Special Advocate to seek a writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court for review of any decision of the FISA Court of Review.
Requires the Attorney General to publicly disclose: (1) all decisions issued by the FISA Court or the FISA Court of Review after July 10, 2003, that include a significant construction or interpretation of law, (2) any decision of the FISA Court appealed by the Special Advocate, and (3) any FISA Court of Review decision issued after an appeal by the Special Advocate. Provides for the release of as much information regarding the facts and analysis in such decisions as is consistent with legitimate national security concerns.
Permits the Special Advocate to petition the FISA Court or FISA Court of Review for the public disclosure of decisions and related documents previously designated as classified or for the release of an unclassified summary of such materials.