Feingold: "We're Not The Prosecutor's Committee"
Sadly, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Patriot Act renewal provisions yesterday. A few modifications were made, but not enough.
The rest of the hearing featured Democrat after Democrat arguing that we need to develop lists of all the potential suspects out there buying acetone and hydrogen peroxide.[More...]
There was some tiny progress according to the ACLU:
However, there were two amendments included in the final bill – both offered by Senator Feingold – that are victories for privacy: The Department of Justice would be ordered to discard any illegally obtained information received in response to an NSL and the government must notify suspects of “sneak and peek” searches within seven days instead of the thirty days currently outlined in the statute. “Sneak and peek” searches allow the government to search a home without notifying the resident immediately.
But in the end:
This truly was a missed opportunity for the Senate Judiciary Committee to right the wrongs of the Patriot Act and stand up for Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. The meager improvements made during this markup will certainly be overshadowed by allowing so many horrible amendments to be added to an already weak bill. Congress cannot continue to make this mistake with the Patriot Act again and again. We urge the Senate to adopt amendments on the floor that will bring this bill in line with the Constitution.”
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