Govt drops objection to publishing secret opinion

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Associated Press

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 8:04 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has dropped its objection to the publication of a secret court opinion on the law that authorizes the government's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records.

The Justice Department tells the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in a filing that the department won't object if the court decides to publish nonclassified portions of the its opinion.

The American Civil Liberties Union had asked the court to release opinions on the meaning, scope and/or constitutionality of a legal provision under which the records are collected — Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

The government has located such an opinion, dated Feb. 19.

Friday's filing comes a few days after a federal judge ruled that the phone collection program is likely unconstitutional.

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