PEEK

FISA Battle: Stand and Be Counted

Who will stand for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law in the Senate and be counted today?
Who will stand for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law in the Senate and be counted today? Who will stand up with Sens. Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold and put their values on the line, standing up for the foundations of American government over political expediency, a "get out of jail free" card for Dick Cheney and his minions including telecoms, and a pending airline ticket to Davos.

Hey Dick and telecoms: if you do not take the rule of law seriously, then you have no business asking for a favor and a pass. That applies to Vice Presidents and their minions as much as it does for large corporations who have scads of legal beagles on retainer, fully capable of reading the FISA law and comprehending the straightforward penalty provisions and warrant requirements. The Bush Administration should not be allowed to use Congress as their own, personal CYA brigade. Period.

The Feinstein "compromise" amendment? Nothing but fluff and capitulation, dressed up in a tidy little package -- and contrary to the FISA law as written. Glenn has the lowdown. The Courage Campaign has more. For my money, the Dodd/Feingold Amendment is a far superior option that removes retroactive immunity, and stands for the rule of law, not in contravention of it.

Here's the reality of the fight today, via CQ:

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Christy Hardin Smith is a former attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review.