Tag: Arlen Specter

Joe Sestak Beats Arlen Specter in PA

Sen. Arlen Specter's long career as a U.S. Senator is ending.

Mr. Specter won just three counties, including Philadelphia, but not by the huge amounts needed to offset the wins by Representative Joe Sestak everywhere else in the state.

Mr. Sestak’s campaign focused relentlessly on Mr. Specter’s party switch, saying that it symbolized his opportunism and that he was out for himself. Mr. Specter may have sown the seeds of his own destruction when he readily admitted that he changed sides to keep his seat.

Is this a sign of rage against incumbants others will feel in November? I doubt, as Governor Rendell is quoted in the Times article, that Specter lost because of the rain in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

“The rain killed Arlen,” Mr. Rendell said dejectedly. “Whatever chance he had went down with the rain.”

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Specter May Chair Crime and Drugs Subcommittee

Update: Not so fast. Sen. Patrick Leahy is objecting.

The Democrats today handed Sen. Arlen Specter the chairmanship of the judicairy Committee's Crime and Drugs subcommittee.

The Crime and Drugs panel is Judiciary's busiest subcommittee, responsible for oversight of the Justice Department, federal prosecutors, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and drug control policy.

Dick Durbin, who currently holds the position, with switch to being Chair of the Human Rights subcommittee. To accomplish the deal, the Dems restored the human rights subcommittee, which was dissolved in January.

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Sen. Specter Introduces FISA Bill on Substitution

Sen. Arlen Specter yesterday introduced a new bill on FISA substitution-- S. 2402, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Substition Act (pdf).

He also made this statement (pdf) about the bill yesterday which appears in the Congressional record.

Mr. President, I seek recognition to introduce The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Substitution Act of 2007, to substitute the Federal Government for the telephone companies in litigation challenging the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program. ....

.... The legislation substitutes the U.S. in place of any electronic communication service company which provided communications in connection with an intelligence activity that was authorized by the President between September 11, 2001, and January 17, 2007, and designed to detect or prevent a terrorist attack against the U.S.

....If the provider assisted the Government beyond what was requested in writing, this legislation will leave the provider on the hook for any surplus assistance. On the other hand, the Government will be substituted if the Attorney General certifies that the electronic communications service provider did only what the Government asked. Once substitution occurs, Federal and State courts are directed to dismiss the providers from the action.

The bill may be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. Unfortunately, it does not have a state secrets fix.

For lots more on the FISA bills currently under consideration this week, the ACLU provides great information.

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Specter Introduces Bill to Protect Attorney-Client Privilege

Sen. Arlen Specter has introduced a much-needed bill to protect the attorney-client privilege.

The bill is titled the Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2006 (ACPPA).

The ACPPA would prohibit government lawyers from forcing organizations into:

  • Disclosing information protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine;
  • Refusing to contribute to the legal defense of an employee;
  • Refusing to enter into a joint defense strategy with an employee;
  • Refusing to share relevant information with an employee; and
  • Terminating or disciplining an employee.

As for why it's needed:

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