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Unconstitutional FISA Search and Seizure Cannot Pass without Democratic Party Approval

It’s a central test of political character: when you have the chance to make a difference, do you?

Tomorrow, the Senate will convene to vote on reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act. This law directly violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by allowing agents of the United States government to search through and [...]

ACLU Joins Push to Stop FISA Surveillance Renewal on the Sly

This week is the last week of the summer in which Congress plans to meet and pass bills. It’s a dangerous week for America because members of Congress know that Americans aren’t paying attention. This is the week when our leaders on Capitol Hill will try to pass laws that would embarrass them if we [...]

Senate Tea Party Roll Call Vote on the Patriot Act, May 2011

16 members of the U.S. Senate have a concrete tie to the Tea Party from some combination of three sources:

1. 2010 endorsement by the self-proclaimed “Tea Party HQ” organization FreedomWorks 2. 2010 endorsement by the Tea Party Express organization 3. Current membership in the Senate Tea Party Caucus

In the first meeting of the [...]

In Roll Call Votes, Who Switched on the Patriot Act from Feb-May 2011?

In February of 2011, the House and Senate voted to reauthorize Patriot Act surveillance powers for three months without making any reforms. At the end of May 2011, the House and Senate voted to reauthorize Patriot Act surveillance powers for four years, again without making any reforms. The outcome of these votes didn’t change from [...]

Bizarre: Obama Admin sez Hurry with Patriot Act Re-Up, or we won’t be able to use Power we’ve never used

The reasons for quick reauthorization of provisions of the Patriot Act have moved past dubious, through the paper-thin wall between rational and irrational, and straight into the land of the bizarre.

In a letter written yesterday to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper provided the Obama administration’s justification for [...]

Senator Harry Reid Contradicts Himself to Push Patriot Act Surveillance

A tip of the pen to Spencer Ackerman of Wired for uncovering Senator Harry Reid’s bald hypocrisy on the use of fear to push reformless reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, May 25 2011, explaining why the Patriot Act must be reauthorized immediately without amendments or reform:

If the Senator [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]