21
Nov
2005

Patriot Act reauthorization stalls

Mercury News

11/18/05

A near-agreement to extend the controversial Patriot Act was blocked Friday by an odd-bedfellows coalition of liberals and conservatives who protested that it did too little to protect Americans' civil liberties. The Patriot Act, which gives law-enforcement officials significant power to wiretap and search suspects in the United States, was Congress' main response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But critics have always complained about the powers it gives police to invade the privacy of citizens, including the right to examine library records and search homes without residents knowing it. As a result of such continuing concerns, an unusual coalition of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and House was sufficiently upset at the latest proposed revisions in the Patriot Act that leaders Friday agreed to drop the immediate consideration of it, partly to avoid a threatened filibuster in the Senate over the weekend. Congressional leaders still plan to finalize reauthorization of the Patriot Act by year's end, but the delay was a disappointment to the White House and at least a temporary victory for civil libertarians on the right and left...

//tinyurl.com/aauvk


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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