The FISA bill (S. 2248) mark-up is set for tomorrow morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The business meeting is set for 10 am ET - am waiting to hear whether C-Span will be covering it, but I've put in a request. Here's hoping...
In the meantime, I thought we could spend the day constructively nudging on two very important issues: (1) no telecom immunity and (2) no basket warrants.
We put together quite a list of ways to phrase opposition to the current FISA legislation's most odious provisions - you can find the full compendium here. (My personal favorite was Prairie Sunshine's "Democracy = Rule of Law, not Lawless Rule.") Please call and FAX the offices of the Senate Judiciary Committee members regarding their obligation to uphold the rule of law, the Constitution, and the will of the people not just the rule of George. Via OldCoastie, here is a link to efax, which allows you to FAX them for free.
Things aren't going well, thanks to our LieberDems Schumer, Feinstein (what a surprise!) and Whitehouse. We need to get loud, people.
From an email from an ACLU rep.:
The Democratic Judiciary Committee staff is floating substitution language that would make the government responsible for illegal activity committed by the telecom companies.
Congress must reject any attempts to provide immunity to those that broke the law. If the government assumes legal responsibility for lawbreaking for the telecoms, the companies will be let-off the hook for their illegal actions. It also means the taxpayers will be responsible for any damages. The ACLU strongly and firmly opposes the substitution, which is, in essence, telecom immunity.
If this substitution language gets enacted, we know that the government will stop the lawsuits by arguing: states secrets, executive privilege, and sovereign immunity in order to stop the people from having their day in court against the telecom giants.
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The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up the domestic surveillance legislation tomorrow morning.
And the House is expected to vote tomorrow too, although it is not yet clear exactly what they are voting on yet.