U.S. District Judge John D. Bates to Be Next Chief Judge of Surveillance Court

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates has been tapped to be the next chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, officials said yesterday.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made the appointment last month, and Bates will take over as chief judge in May, according to Sheldon Snook, a spokesman for the court, which was created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Bates, 62, replaces U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who has been chief FISA judge since 2002.

The FISA court has 11 judges, who are appointed to seven-year terms by the chief justice.

The government generally must obtain a FISA judge's authorization to conduct surveillance targeting a person in the United States or a U.S. citizen abroad. Bates has served as a federal judge since 2001 and as a FISA judge since 2006. His term as chief FISA judge will expire in February 2013, Snook said.

-- Del Quentin Wilber

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