For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Matthew Allee
(202) 580-6922 or
mallee@constitutionproject.org

Constitution Project Disappointed by Missed Opportunity to Reform Patriot Act, But Optimistic for Next Year's Reevaluation

WASHINGTON - Last night, the United States House of
Representatives joined the Senate in approving a one-year extension for
the three sunsetting sections of the Patriot Act: the business/library
records, lone wolf, and roving wiretaps provisions. These provisions
were originally set to expire at the end of the 2009 calendar year, but
Congress passed a two-month extension late last year. The Senate
adopted the one-year extension on Wednesday, and the House followed
suit last night. The bill will now be sent to President Obama for his
expected signature.

"These expiring provisions of the Patriot Act and
its national security letter authority are overly broad and lack the
necessary safeguards to preserve and protect individual liberties and
freedoms," said Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel with the
Constitution Project. "Congress missed a prime opportunity, with the
December 2009 sunsets, to reevaluate and correct those authorities of
the Patriot Act that have proven to authorize violations of Americans'
rights. Despite our disappointment with an additional extension, we are
looking forward to Congress revisiting these important issues next
fall, in advance of the new deadline."
Last September, the Constitution Project's
Liberty and Security Committee spoke out on the issue of Patriot Act
reform, issuing a Statement on Reforming the Patriot Act. The Statement,
signed by a diverse group of 26 policy experts from across the
political spectrum, advocated for significant reform to the three
sunsetting sections: the business/library records, lone wolf, and
roving wiretaps provisions. It also stated that Congress should take
this opportunity to revisit and reform the National Security Letter
(NSL) authority expanded by the Patriot Act, whose abuse has been
documented by the Justice Department's Inspector General, as well as
the Act's provision allowing deportation and denial of visas based on
individuals' political views.
To view a copy of the Statement of Reforming the Patriot Act, go to:
http://www.constitutionproject.org/manage/file/340.pdf
###

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at http://constitutionproject.org/.

Share This Article

More in: