Supreme Court to Hear Big Case Against FBI

Supreme Court to Hear Big Case Against FBI

( – The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has a very significant caseload this term, hearing matters related to critical issues like abortion, gun control, and the death penalty. Another crucial area in which SCOTUS will cast a judgment is the right of federal agencies to operate with the benefit of so-called “state secrets.”

On Monday, November 8, the nine justices heard arguments regarding an undercover FBI operation that took place at a California mosque. In 2006, after an agent assured the congregation at the mosque that the agency was not secretly monitoring them, a handpicked undercover operative posing as a converted Muslim was sent in. The informant developed relationships with individuals at the mosque, relaying valuable information to the FBI and covertly recording audio and video.

One of the targets of this operation was a man called Sheikh Yassir Fazaga. He filed a lawsuit against the FBI in 2011, alleging religious discrimination. In 2012, the district court in charge of the case said it could not proceed with the hearing because it would risk exposing state secrets. However, the appeals court disagreed, claiming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) potentially permits matters like this to proceed.

Now, it’s up to SCOTUS to decide what kind of secrecy privileges the FBI and other agencies have in cases like this.

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