• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Civil Libertarians Dismayed by Patriot Amendments

I just spoke to Kevin Bankston, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s senior attorney specializing in free speech and privacy law, about his reaction to today’s Senate Judiciary Committee markup session on the Patriot Act, which resulted in passage of the Leahy-Feinstein bill, with a few amendments. Bankston, who’s been following this debate closely, was not pleased.

“We’re deeply disappointed that the Obama administration sided with the committee Republicans to pass amendments to remove reforms from the already watered-down bill,” he said this afternoon, referring to seven amendments, five of which were introduced by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-S.C.), which removed civil liberties protections and which Sessions said were mostly recommended by the Obama administration’s FBI and Justice Department in closed-door classified briefings.

“We’re very disappointed in the final bill that was voted out of committee,” said Bankston. “It has fewer reforms than the original bill from Sen. Leahy, and it’s a very far cry from Sen. Feingold and Durbin’s JUSTICE Act.” The JUSTICE Act would have required the government to specify more clearly the targets of their investigations and their connections to terrorism, to keep the FBI from using its authority to engage in broad-based data-mining of Americans’ phone, library and business records.

The amendments adopted included removing a requirement that the FBI periodically review its gag orders on National Security Letter recipients, removed judicial review for those gag orders, and watered down an effort to heighten the showing required when the FBI is seeking library records. The text of the final amendments and votes on each is available on the Judiciary Committee’s Website here.

Bankston was also disappointed that the Judiciary Committee refused to consider amendments to the FISA Amendments Act passed last year, which he calls “a much graver threat to civil liberties.” Feingold’s attempt to offer an amendment was withdrawn when Committee Chairman Leahy said he’d oppose it on procedural grounds.

To Bankston, this was all evidence that Congress is far too willing to cave to the wishes of a Democratic administration, even if its proposals are just as bad for the civil liberties of Americans as the Republican administration’s were.

“In 2005, the Judiciary Committee was able to pass much stronger reforms under a Republican administration,” said Bankston. “Now, in a position of power and with a vaunted supermajority, the Democrats are still bargaining against themselves rather than having a united front and introducing new civil liberties protections. I think it’s because of the White House’s position that these powers need to be renewed. There’s an unwillingness to consider even minor reforms.”

The American Civil Liberties Union was similarly disappointed, and Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, came out with this statement this afternoon:

We are disappointed that further changes were not made to ensure Americans’ civil liberties would be adequately protected by this Patriot Act legislation. This truly was a missed opportun Sity 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.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.