The National Coalition Against Censorship has joined a coalition of over thirty organizations urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider President Trump’s final two nominees to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) as expeditiously as possible. The letter makes clear that no organization is endorsing any particular nominee. It notes, however, that the PCLOB has now lacked a quorum for over 19 months, and states that the undersigned organizations believe it is critical that the PCLOB be able to resume its work conducting oversight and providing advice regarding counterterrorism programs.
During the four and a half years in which the PCLOB operated with a quorum, it played a valuable role, including conducting a review of the Section 215 program and bringing to light critical details about government surveillance programs. The PCLOB also performed significant work to create a new independent agency from scratch, and to establish crucial relationships with other federal agencies, Members of Congress, and the public. By statute, the Board must have at least three members to provide a quorum, and the Board has not had a quorum of members since early January 2017. Without a quorum, the PCLOB cannot issue oversight reports, provide the agency’s advice, or build upon the agency foundations laid by the original members.
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