WASHINGTON -- March 7 -- Members of Congress, booksellers and librarians will hold a news conference on Wednesday, March 9th to introduce legislation that would protect the freedom to read threatened under the USA Patriot Act. The legislation would restore and protect the privacy and First Amendment rights of library and bookstore patrons which were in place before the USA Patriot Act. The amendment would prevent government agents from fishing expeditions into libraries and bookstores.
Attorney General Gonzalez has said that reauthorizing the Patriot Act will be one of his top priorities. Last year, Sanders offered an amendment on the House floor to repeal section 215 of the Patriot Act. The amendment received a majority of votes in the U.S. House when the time for voting expired. However, the House Republican Leadership then held open the vote twice as long as scheduled, an additional 20 minutes, and persuaded Republicans to switch their votes.
WHAT: Members of Congress, Librarians and Booksellers will hold a news conference to introduce legislation that would exempt libraries and bookstores from the Patriot Act.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 9, 2005 at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: 2456 - Rayburn House Office Building
WHO: Rep. Bernie Sanders I-VT
Rep. Barbara Lee D- CA
Other Members of Congress
Former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder
Representatives from the American Booksellers Association
Reps. from the American Library Association
Contact: Joel Barkin (Rep. Sanders) 202/225-4115