We got word late this afternoon that the Judiciary Committee will likely be voting tomorrow on Arlen Specter’s bad bill to address the NSA’s illegal spying program.
Specter claims that his bill, S. 2453, would restore judicial review of wiretaps, but the law already requires judicial review and the president has ignored it. Senator Specter’s bill would allow the courts to approve programs of surveillance, diminishing the Constitution’s requirement there be probable cause that an American is doing something wrong before their communications can be seized.
Of course there’s also a competing bill (S. 2455) written by Senator Mike DeWine (R-PA), which would also attempt to rewrite probable cause to allow warrantless surveillance of Americans’ calls and emails without evidence that they are conspiring with suspect terrorists. It would make judicial review of wiretaps optional and would reduce the amount of information the president is required to give Congress about the program.
There has been a definite lack of media attention on these bills, so please do all you can to inform people about them and why they’re so bad. And of course, you know the drill – call Specter! Tell him to withdraw his legislation until Congress learns the facts about the NSA spying program.
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