(RedFlag Exclusive) -- The chief justice of the United States (John Roberts) chooses 11 district judges from around the country to serve on the special court. They rule individually on FISA applications for wiretaps, physical surveillance or search warrants.
The applications are written by a special group within the Justice Department and are based on requests from the FBI, CIA or NSA. The Justice group prepares a legal brief supporting the request along with an affidavit from the supervising investigative agent. That material is accompanied by a certification by the head of the agency making the request, usually the FBI. A final certification comes from the attorney general (Eric Holder).
H/T Washington Post, June 26, 2007