To recap: A privacy and civil liberties oversight board was recommended by the 9/11 Commission, and the board was created in 2004 and placed within the White House. In 2008, Congress passed and President Bush signed the “Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007,” which took the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board out of the White House and established it “as an independent agency within the executive branch.”
Terms for the original board expired in January 2008, but President Bush delayed the nomination of new board members for many months; none were confirmed by the Senate. In 2010, President Obama nominated James X. Dempsey, Vice President for Public Policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Elisebeth Collins Cook, who worked in the Justice Department in the Bush administration. Privacy Lives joined in the call to nominate and confirm experts to the board. (For more information on the board, here’s a 2008 Congressional Research Service report (pdf) on the board’s history and powers.)
In December 2011, Obama nominated Rachel L. Brand (Chief Counsel for Regulatory Litigation at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber Litigation Center), Patricia M. Wald (who had served for twenty years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia), and for the chairmanship, David Medine (a partner at WilmerHale whose practice focuses on data security and privacy). In August, all but Medine were approved by the full Senate, so the board did not have a chairman.
On Tuesday, the Senate finally voted to confirm (pdf) Medine (53 yeas, 45 nays, 2 did not vote). On the floor, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of Judiciary Committee, which sent the nomination to the full Senate for a vote, said: Read more »