Another Domestic Spying Update
Please contact your members of Congress today and tell them to reject any bill that would legalize warrantless wiretapping. The ACLU makes it easy to find your members' contact information, and provides a sample letter. So does Downsize DC.
At Unclaimed Territory, Glenn Greenwald reports:
Sen. Harry Reid participated in a conference call with a dozen or so bloggers this afternoon. For the first question, I asked him about the Specter bill -- specifically, what the Democrats' strategy was for preventing its enactment (I wanted to wait until the second question but I couldn't contain myself).
Sen. Reid stated flatly and unequivocally -- and I'm paraphrasing -- that the Specter bill was not going anywhere, that it would not be enacted. I then asked him how he could be so certain about that -- specifically, I asked where the 51 votes against the Specter bill would come from in light of the support it enjoys from both the White House and at least some of the ostensibly "independent" Republicans, exacerbated by the fact that all 10 Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted in favor of it yesterday (at least they voted in favor of sending it to the Senate floor).
In response, Sen. Reid explained that our system does not allow every bill to be enacted simply because a majority supports it, that Senate rules allow minority rights to be protected, clearly alluding to a filibuster. Indeed, as part of that vow, Sen. Reid specifically referenced the fact that in the Senate, one does not need 50%, but only 40%, to block the enactment of a bill. He explained that rule existed to protect minority rights. When I asked him expressly whether the Democrats are committed to filibustering the Specter bill if doing so is necessary to defeat it, he said he thought that would not be necessary, but repeated that they would make sure the Specter bill did not become law. He was unequivocal about that a second time.
(entire post here)
This is great news, but the Specter bill isn't dead yet. Remember the cave-in on the re-authorization of the so-called USA "Patriot" Act after a few minor changes were made earlier this year. If you have one or more Democratic senators, now is the time to call them and urge them to stand firm in opposition of any bill that would legalize warrantless wiretapping. The ACLU makes it easy to find your members' contact information, and provides a sample letter. So does Downsize DC.