Wednesday, December 09, 2015

9th Circuit Hears Arguments In Suit Over FBI Infiltration of Mosques

Yesterday the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments (video of full arguments) in Fazaga v. FBI.  The class action lawsuit against the FBI and FBI agents alleges that the government wrongfully spied on mainstream mosques in Southern California and targeted Muslims for surveillance because of their religion. (ACLU case page.)  In the case, a California federal district court dismissed claims against the FBI because of the state secrets privilege, agreeing that national security would be endangered by disclosing targets in counter-terrorism investigations. The court, however, permitted claims under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act against individual FBI agents and supervisors to proceed. (See prior posting.) Politico reports on yesterday's oral arguments, in which all the questions to counsel were asked by Judge Berzon.