Levin: Let’s Not Let the Constitution Get in the Way of Indefinite Detention

By: Thursday May 24, 2012 6:14 am

Not every politician is great on every issue, granted. But with Carl Levin of late, there’s been quite a swing. On the one hand, his Permanent Subcommittee for Investigations delivered Goldman Sachs on a silver platter to the Justice Department (it’s currently sitting in a conference room, untouched). He has jumped on JPMorgan Chase’s massive [...]

Democrats, ACLU Seek Disclosure on Patriot Act Interpretation, Drone Program

By: Friday March 16, 2012 10:15 am

Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have been waging a lonely battle to make public information about the Justice Department’s interpretation of the Patriot Act, which they claim violates civil liberties in as-yet undisclosed ways. They tried to force this into the public sphere on the Senate floor. Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein promised hearings [...]

Udall Amendment Fails, Setting Up Showdown on Defense Authorization Bill

By: Tuesday November 29, 2011 2:12 pm

Mark Udall’s amendment to strip out indefinite detention provisions from the defense authorization bill failed today, and the bill will likely pass the Senate with the provisions intact. The Senate soundly defeated a move to strip out controversial language requiring mandatory detention of some terror suspects, voting it down 61 to 37 and escalating a [...]

Mark Udall Trying to Strip Out Indefinite Detention Regime from Defense Bill

By: Monday November 28, 2011 12:02 pm

Other than the payroll tax legislation, the big news in the Senate this week is the defense authorization bill, traditionally seen as must-pass legislation. It seems like every year there’s some big controversy over this bill.  This time that comes in the form of a measure that would mandate indefinite detentions of terrorist suspects in [...]

Obama Administration Threatens Veto Over Detention Policy Tucked Into Defense Bill

By: Thursday November 17, 2011 11:49 am

In the space of a couple days, the US Senate was poised to essentially legalize indefinite detention and open up the possibility for US citizens to come under such a regime. The defense authorization bill included a provision requiring that any non-citizen suspected of terrorism be held in military custody, and opened the practice up [...]

Charlie Savage Files FOIA Complaint to Compel Release of DoJ Patriot Act Interpretation

By: Wednesday October 12, 2011 12:15 pm

For months now, Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have spoken out about the Justice Department’s interpretation – wrongful interpretation, in their view – of the Patriot Act, which has led to some unnamed manner of mischief in terms of civil liberties deprivation through mass data collection. Wyden and Udall have implored DoJ to explain [...]

The Never-Ending Pivot Is a 360 Back to the Deficit

By: Wednesday August 3, 2011 8:50 am

The President has just the thing to focus the federal government’s attention on the jobs crisis: a bus tour of the Midwest. And his Treasury Secretary kicked off the campaign (shall we call it The Next Recovery Summer?) in the Washington Post. How does that go? Well, he spends 14 paragraphs defending the debt limit [...]

Wyden Questions NSA General Counsel on Secret Surveillance Law

By: Thursday July 28, 2011 9:35 am

Ron Wyden clearly has a secret, something he cannot tell. But he also clearly wants to tell it, to let Americans know how their privacy has been compromised by the surveillance state. So he had an opportunity yesterday, when he got to question an NSA lawyer in a Congressional hearing. According to the general counsel [...]

Poor Economic Numbers Complicate Debt Limit Deal

By: Tuesday June 14, 2011 8:40 am

Debt limit talks led by Vice President Biden resume today, and David Rogers reports that the two sides are $1.1 trillion apart. Further complicating this are two factors. One, the House is already passing appropriations bills based on their demands. Even if a deal does come together, it cannot leapfrog the committees of jurisdiction on [...]

Breakthrough on Patriot Act Will Probably Allow for Quick Passage Before Expiration of Key Provisions

By: Thursday May 26, 2011 6:10 am

It appears that Rand Paul has reached some kind of deal on his insistence to get votes for his amendments to the Patriot Act. There will now be votes on the amendments, with a likely 60-vote threshold. But the expectation is that the amendments will fail, and final passage will be secured Thursday. That will [...]

Senate Poised to Extend Patriot Act Provisions With Little Debate

By: Monday May 23, 2011 12:59 pm

The Senate will vote later today on a motion to proceed to S.1038 which would extend three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for four years, with almost no debate. As David Waldman notes, this is the third cloture vote on a motion to proceed in the last four legislative days in the Senate, showing [...]

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