For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

Senator Leahy Introduces Bill To Amend Patriot Act

Previously Introduced JUSTICE Act Offers More Civil Liberties Protections, Says ACLU

WASHINGTON - Senate
Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today introduced
legislation to amend sections of the Patriot Act that are due to expire
on December 31 and limit the controversial and problematic library
records and national security letter provisions of the Act.

Today’s
proposed legislation comes on the heels of an alternative bill
introduced last week by Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the
Constitution Chairman Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Judiciary
Committee member Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) also aimed at fixing the
Patriot Act. That bill, the JUSTICE Act, would not only amend the
provisions beyond the three that are set to expire this year, but would
insert privacy and civil liberties safeguards into each section of the
Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments Act and other overly broad
surveillance laws.
 
The
American Civil Liberties Union testified about the Patriot Act today
before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil
Rights and Civil Liberties. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold
its own hearing on Wednesday.
 
The following can be attributed to Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
 
“Any
attempt to narrow the scope of the Patriot Act should be commended, and
Senator Leahy deserves credit for taking that action. We look forward
to working with the committee to incorporate into legislation some of
the more comprehensive reforms in the JUSTICE Act. Time is of the
essence given the upcoming expiration date for key Patriot Act
provisions, and Congress should act quickly to engage in meaningful
debate and enact serious reform.”
 
For more information on the ACLU’s work on the Patriot Act, go to: www.reformthepatriotact.org
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