Leahy urges Obama to reinstate privacy oversight for counterterrorism policies

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging the president to quickly make nominations to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which is charged with ensuring privacy and civil liberty concerns are addressed in all national security policies.

The Board was established by the 9/11 Commission and first constituted in 2005. The first members' terms expired in 2008 and they have not been replaced.

In 2007, Leahy pushed through a provision that would require annual reports from the Board as well as Senate confirmations for all members.

Leahy and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) wrote to President Barack Obama in April to reconstitute the Board.

"I write again to encourage you to nominate qualified individuals to the Board at the earliest opportunity," Leahy said in the letter he sent this week to the White House. "Given the many pressing privacy and civil liberties issues facing our Nation, including timely issues related to counterterrorism and cybersecurity policies, this vital Board has remained vacant for far too long."