Republicans and Democrats Speak Out Against “Too Big to Jail” HSBC Case

By: Monday December 17, 2012 8:30 am

We now have bipartisan anger at the decision to hold HSBC and its executives harmlessfor years of money laundering and facilitating the culture of Mexican drug cartels. In fact, only the shareholders will pay, and not all that much, what amounts to five weeks’ worth of profits for the bank. The certainty of not being [...]

Leahy Reverses Email Privacy Bill To Give Federal Agencies More Warrantless Surveillance Abilities

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 1:47 pm

The sorry affair of David Petraeus and a cast of thousands of emails, Tampa-area socialites, and jokes about the book title “All In” really showed the power of the FBI as part of the architecture of the government surveillance state, able to snoop on almost every private email communication of every citizen, often without a [...]

Senate Republicans Vow to Stop Circuit Court Judicial Confirmations for Rest of 2012

By: Thursday June 14, 2012 10:16 am

One of the few areas of progress in recent months has been the confirmation of judges by the Senate. Under a deal in the spring, 17 judges got confirmed, stretched out over a period of several weeks. And when that deal expired, a few more judges trickled in with confirmations. In all, 20 judges have [...]

PIPA Dead in its Current Form UPDATE: Postponed

By: Friday January 20, 2012 6:23 am

PIPA will not survive next week. The latest whip count from Open Congress shows 45 Senators now opposed to the legislation, with 41 of those on the record in the media. That would be enough to stop the bill on the floor. Moreover, Mitch McConnell has asked Harry Reid to postpone the legislation, a pretty [...]

SOPA and PIPA Watered Down

By: Friday January 13, 2012 3:17 pm

In what looks like a victory for the grassroots anti-Internet censorship coalition, the sponsors of two bills moving through Congress, PIPA (Protect IP Act) in the Senate and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the House, have agreed to remove or water down controversial provisions that would require ISPs to block domain names that engage [...]

Paul, Leahy Team Up on Amendments to Patriot Act Extension

By: Tuesday May 24, 2011 6:50 am

As I noted yesterday, the Senate passed cloture, by a 74-8 margin, on the motion to proceed for a four-year extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act. Final passage is expected Wednesday, so for a seminal civil liberties issue that has been in place nearly ten years, we will see essentially one day of [...]

Obama Seeks Two-Year Extension for FBI Director Mueller

By: Thursday May 12, 2011 10:29 am

President Obama announced that he would prefer FBI Director Robert Mueller to stay on for an additional two years beyond the 10-year term he has already served. Mueller, who became director of the FBI one week before 9-11, would see his term otherwise expire September 4. Here’s an excerpt of the President’s statement. I believe [...]

Patriot Act Extension Whittled Down to Three Months; Senate to Vote Tonight UPDATE: Extension Passes

By: Tuesday February 15, 2011 2:29 pm

When the House passed a 10-month extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act last night, it was assumed that the Senate would follow suit quickly. And they will vote on the measure tonight. However, they will narrow the extension to three months, in a move with bipartisan support. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), chair of [...]

House Looks Like They’ll Pass Patriot Act Extension Today

By: Tuesday February 8, 2011 11:41 am

If you blink today, you may miss the House of Representatives passing an extension until the end of the year of several provisions of the Patriot Act that expire in Feburary. They will try to pass it under the suspension of the rules, meaning that they will need a 2/3 vote, but also that nobody [...]

Leahy Threatens Egyptian Aid If Mubarak Stays in Power

By: Thursday February 3, 2011 10:30 am

The state TV interview with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman was kind of a joke. Suleiman rejected the early departure of Hosni Mubarak from the government due to the risk to “stability and security” (because Egypt looks so stable). He intimated that satellite TV stations like Al Jazeera “are arousing you against your country.” He [...]

Kagan Hearings To Start June 28

By: Wednesday May 19, 2010 7:44 am

Patrick Leahy gives the news: At a hearing Wednesday morning, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that proceedings to consider the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will begin on June 28. “This is a reasonable schedule that is in line with past [...]

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