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Chellie Pingree, a Welcome Anti-Schwartz on the Patriot Act

A few weeks ago I shared with you a letter Rep. Allyson Schwartz wrote to a Pennsylvanian in her district regarding the Patriot Act. Mostly empty of content and otherwise incorrect, it’s the sort of communication that gives constituents a fed up, exasperated, not-gonna-vote-for-you-again kind of feeling.

I’d like to share with you the text […]

2/3 of Privacy Caucus Leadership Votes For the Patriot Act

It may sound like a setup for a SNL skit, but it’s true: the membership list of the Congressional Privacy Caucus remains private. The Congressional Member Organization has registered as an official caucus of the 112th Congress but hasn’t updated its leadership since Co-Chair Christopher Dodd left the Senate to take up a position as […]

Patrick Leahy Blows His Stack Over Patriot Act… before he votes it forward

At Thursday’s markup of Patriot Act reauthorization, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont nearly blew his top when responding to a Republican Senator who said the government shouldn’t have to show someone was a terrorism or spying associate or suspect before nabbing their papers, communications, or property without a the probable cause warrant specified in the […]

Congress Reveals Government can use Patriot Act to find out who Reads about the Second Amendment

In this past Thursday’s meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, there was a very interesting question-and-answer period between Senator Dick Durbin and the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy. Senator Leahy proposed an amendment to curtail Patriot Act powers so that records of book purchases couldn’t be collected by the government unless the government […]

Partly Sunny and Warm: A Fine Day to Protest the Patriot Act in DC

After a long winter, isn’t it nice to stretch your legs and take a walk in the warming sunshine? Isn’t it nice to bring your family along to a park and watch the kids play on the grass?

So why not do that? If you live near Washington, DC, why not bring your family down […]

Allyson Schwartz Delivers Empty, Incorrect Message on the Patriot Act

Regular reader and Pennsylvania Green Party activist Ross Levin asked me to share a letter he received from his member of Congress, Representative Allyson Schwartz. Ross had asked Rep. Schwartz to explain why she had repeatedly supported reauthorization of the Patriot Act without any reforms (voting YES for Patriot Act powers most recently in February […]

Patriot Act To-Do List: Watch Wednesday, Watch Thursday, PROTEST Saturday

WEDNESDAY: Watch the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Patriot Act at 1:30 PM

THURSDAY: Watch the Senate Judiciary Committee mark up a bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act at 10:00 AM

SATURDAY: Join us at the Patriot Act PROTEST at NOON on the West side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Let […]

85 Days Left to Reform the Patriot Act: Will Senate Judiciary Do It Today? (The Answer is No.)

With Congress’ decision last month to issue a short-term reauthorization of Patriot Act surveillance powers came a promise by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to at least reform these provisions by adding some modest safeguards.

That just may happen in today’s Senate Judiciary business meeting. Markup of S.193 (the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension […]

Lack Of Patriot Act Hearings Probed By Polis

Jared Polis is right. Efforts to reform the Patriot Act have been unfairly blocked. Join the protest demanding repeal of the Patriot Act. Come to the side of the U.S. Capitol Building that faces the Washington Monument on Saturday, March 12 at Noon. […]

Why Patriot Act Reform Matters: 767 Days and Counting Without a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

In 91 days, three central search, seizure and surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire again. The period between now and then is an opportunity to drum up support for reforms to these provisions.

Why is it so important to reform the Patriot Act?

From a legal point of view, the Patriot […]

Promises For Patriot Act Hearings Are Going Dark

So far, the Subcommittee on Crime Terrorism and Homeland Security doesn’t seem inclined to keep David Dreier’s promise of a hearing of Americans’ grievances about the Patriot Act’s Big Brother system of spying set up against them. Instead, it is working to promote the FBI’s Going Dark program to expand electronic surveillance by the government. […]