ACLU Encourages Senate Rebellion on Spy Law

January 28, 2008 12:00 am

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Contact: (202) 675-2312 or Washington, DC – Today in a procedural vote, Senate Democrats and key Republicans are set to stand firm against the administration’s attempt to widely expand warrantless wiretapping. A motion to end debate and prevent future amendments from being offered to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s version of the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 will likely be blocked this afternoon. This will set up the Senate for a much more productive procedure and will allow senators the chance to fix the fatally flawed bill.

“We firmly support those who are standing up against this horrible bill,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “We’d have preferred senators to come together sooner for the Fourth Amendment, rather than rally around a procedural vote, although we appreciate the Senate’s action today. Hopefully this spirit of rebellion against the administration’s spying agenda will also mean that Congress will ultimately reject telecom immunity, allowing Americans to have their day in court against companies that broke the law.”

The ACLU also warned against President Bush’s likely fear mongering in tonight’s State of the Union address:

“Tonight the president will undoubtedly blame those in the Senate for their actions today. He has stubbornly affirmed that he’ll veto any extension of this law that would allow the House and Senate to work out more reasonable options and, in addition, any version without immunity for telecom companies. In the same breath, he claims that American lives are at danger without it and that the hands of our intelligence agencies will be woefully tied. It can’t be both, and the Senate must call his bluff.”

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