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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 [...]

Amy Klobuchar's Broken Patriot Act Promise. Minnesota Values?

It’s a funny thing, but I always had heard that Minnesota values included dependability and honesty. When Garrison Keillor talked his talk on Minnesota Public Radio, he always accented the folksy, reliable sincerity of Minnesotans. I’d thought that in Minnesota, a promise made would be a promise kept. But Senator Amy Klobuchar is eroding my [...]

Amy Klobuchar’s Broken Patriot Act Promise. Minnesota Values?

It’s a funny thing, but I always had heard that Minnesota values included dependability and honesty. When Garrison Keillor talked his talk on Minnesota Public Radio, he always accented the folksy, reliable sincerity of Minnesotans. I’d thought that in Minnesota, a promise made would be a promise kept. But Senator Amy Klobuchar is eroding my [...]

Al Franken, Will You Stand With the Patriot Act or With Civil Liberty?

When the public was watching, Senator Al Franken read the 4th Amendment aloud to Obama officials, in high rhetorical dudgeon against the Patriot Act. Everybody clapped.

When the public wasn’t watching, Senator Al Franken twice acted to support the Patriot Act and to keep warrantless surveillance, search and seizure of Americans’ communications and property — [...]

What Have You Done This Week Regarding Warrantless Surveillance?

Pardon me for getting “meta,” but the developments of the last week have me so flummoxed I just feel the need to share.

I’ll share a little something with you: last week I participated in a conference call with representatives of some major civil liberties organizations. These representatives promised to do what they could to [...]

Transcript: Senator Dick Durbin on Surveillance, Terrorism and the Constitution

On October 1, 2009, Senator Richard Durbin made remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, remarks that contain an explosive allegation for those who carefully listen (see minute 63 to minute 69 of this video archive). At the beginning of those remarks, Senator Durbin declined to request that his remarks be made part of the official [...]

Write a Letter to the Editor Today on Surveillance Reform and the JUSTICE Act

If you care about the expansion of government surveillance lacking the basic constitutional requirement of giving a judge a reason, I strongly suggest that you take some form of action today. A good start is to contact your senators and ask them to cosponsor the strongest surveillance reform bill in Congress today: the JUSTICE Act, [...]

Review Senate Judiciary Committee Surveillance Markup

Update: Markup ended at 12 Noon. Within 24 hours, expect to see the full video webcast of today’s the Senate Judiciary markup session at http://judiciary.senate.gov/resources/webcasts/index.cfm?p=all.

Markup is not complete. This means that there is more time for you to contact your senator and contact the Senate Judiciary Committee majority office to express support for the [...]

Call Senate Judiciary Committee Direct to Support the JUSTICE Act

Yesterday and this morning I asked you to call members of the Senate Judiciary Committee if you happened to have one of the two Senators for your state serving on the Committee. The cause: to promote consideration and inclusion of the provisions of S. 1686 (the JUSTICE Act). S. 1686 has a number of provisions, [...]

Four Bills on Government Surveillance for Thursday Senate Judiciary Markup. What Do You Know?

As I mentioned yesterday, this Thursday — just two days from now — there will be a Senate Judiciary Committee markup meeting in which a bill to extend and reform warrantless surveillance powers will take shape and possibly be passed out of committee.

As of this morning, there are four bills representing different visions for [...]

Act NOW! On Thursday, Senate Decides Future of Surveillance in America

The Senate Judiciary Committee has quietly scheduled this Thursday at 9:30 am to mark up legislation reauthorizing sections of the Patriot Act for four more years and revising the FISA Amendments Act to boot.

The markup matters, and you should contact your Senators before it happens. Here’s why.

Surveillance Matters In 1791, Jeremy Bentham described [...]