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In Unnoticed Remarks, Bobby Scott Outlines Foreign Intelligence Danger in Patriot Act Powers

On May 12 2011, Rep. Robert Scott introduced a new wrinkle to considerations of Patriot Act powers and their uses. We already know from reports to Congress that most uses of the Patriot Act have nothing to do with terrorism. But what, then, is the purpose of the Patriot Act?

In a House Judiciary Committee […]

They Pushed the Patriot Act Forward, and Data Privacy Day is Your Door Prize

Over the last decade, the Patriot Act has allowed a wide net of surveillance, search and seizure to be cast over the United States, purposefully targeting innocent people not even suspected of criminal activity. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits that, but the government has proceeded regardless. Documents show that the powers […]

How to Do Your Last Final Bit to Oppose the Patriot Act

The Republicans are overwhelmingly against you. A shocking number of Democratic Party politicians are ignoring you. But are you really going to shut up and go away just because they want you to?

I hope not. Look: the U.S. Congress is going to start casting votes today to reauthorize the vast unconstitutional surveillance powers of […]

This is what you get for compromise on the Patriot Act, Patrick Leahy

On May 4 2011, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy made one final check with President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder to make sure that S. 193, a bill considered by civil libertarians to be a meager improvement of the Patriot Act with imperfect reforms, was to the Obama administration’s liking.

S. 193 was […]

BORDC Asks: Will you call Barack Obama on the Patriot Act today?

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee is asking Americans to call President Barack Obama at

During his campaign, the president repeatedly criticized the PATRIOT Act and promised to implement reforms to protect law-abiding Americans from unchecked surveillance. But now, for the second time since taking office in 2009, Obama has taken the same position […]

Capitol Tea Party Rally Cheers for Unrepentant Patriot Act Republicans

Did Michele Bachmann really apologize for her YES vote on the Patriot Act? Unfortunately not: that was an April Fools’ Day joke. But Rep. Bachmann really did appear, along with Representatives Allen West and Mike Pence, before a crowd of about 300 assembled in Washington DC on March 31 2011.

That crowd was gathered […]

Michele Bachmann Apologizes, Promises to Fight Patriot Act at Tea Party Event

In a stunning turnabout unanticipated by all but her closest aides, Republican Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared before a small group of 20 Tea Party activists and 15 cameramen to apologize for her YES vote on the Patriot Act

“The Tea Party says it stands for limited government, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, […]

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 […]