Tuesday, November 15, 2005


ACLU on the Airwaves
Lisa Graves, National ACLU Senior Counsel for Legislative Strategy, is on the PA airwaves this week with an update on the PATRIOT Act and reauthorization activities.

Listen for Graves on WHYY throughout the day today (11/15/05).

Listen tomorrow (11/16/05) on the Lynn Cullen radio show at 10:05 am on WPTT 1360 AM.
Listen to the webcast at www.1360wptt.com.

At long last, there is movement on the PATRIOT Act.
In a promising shift, the House voted by unanimous voice vote to recommend a four year extension on certain PATRIOT Act provisions, as opposed to the ten year extension written into the original House legislation. This includes Section 215, which allows the FBI to exercise "secret search powers" without probable cause.

The House has also named its conference committee. The committee will begin meeting today with the Senate committee to reconcile the House and Senate legislation. Among the conferees is Pennsylvania Representative Curt Weldon (7th Congressional District). If you are in Rep. Weldon's district, please contact his office and urge him to support the Senate legislation, which restores limited checks and balances.

Last week, American Bar Association released a letter criticizing several provisions regarding standard of proof, jurors in capital cases and oversight of surveillance. The ABA also offered support for the Senate four-year sunset language. Meanwhile, the ACLU is working with The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and criminal-defense lawyers to lobbying for additional reforms.


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