On December 13, the Senate confirmed Judge Patricia Wald to serve a full five-year term on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), an independent executive branch agency charged with ensuring that privacy and civil liberties concerns are appropriately addressed in the development and implementation of all laws, regulations, and executive branch policies related to protecting the U.S. from terrorism. The board has five members subject to Senate confirmation. Wald’s term runs until January, 2019.
A letter urging Wald’s expeditious confirmation was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier in the week. Organized by TCP and signed by nearly 30 trade associations, privacy advocates and civil society organizations, the letter noted that the PCLOB is currently “engaged in intensive review of NSA surveillance authorities and the FISA Court’s policies and procedures.”
A former member of both TCP’s Liberty & Security Committee and the Task Force on Detainee Treatment, Judge Wald was the first woman appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She also served as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Earlier this year, Judge Wald received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In announcing her selection, the White House called her “one of the most respected appellate judges of her generation.”