Wednesday, July 09, 2008

RIP Fourth Amendment. Capitulation Accomplished.

  • Dodd Amendment (to strike immunity) fails, 32-66. Those voting in favor included Biden, Boxer, Clinton, Kerry, Obama, Tester and the leaders of this effort, Dodd and Feingold and Leahy. No Republicans, of course. The disturbing part? Democrats voting against included Bayh, Carper, Conrad, Feinstein, Inouye, Johnson, Kohl, Landrieu, Lincoln, McCaskill, Mikulski, both Nelsons, Pryor, Rockefeller, Salazar, and Webb. The two missing votes belonged to Kennedy and McCain.
  • Specter Amendment (allows broader court review) also fails, 37-61. The five Senators who switched to the good side here include Conrad, Kohl, McCaskill, Webb and Arlen Specter, the lone R.
  • Bingaman Amendment (delays immunity until completion of the IG report) also fails, 42-56. The five additional lame defenders of the Constitution and their oath of office are Feinstein, Johnson, Lincoln, Mikulski, Nelson of Florida, and Salazar.
  • Motion to Invoke Cloture on H.R. 6304 (ends debate, eliminated the possibility of a filbuster by Dodd) passes 72-26. This number portends the final tally on the bill itself.
  • H.R. 6304, the FISA amendments act of 2008, passes 69-28. Those voting no -- the last-gasp defenders of a citizens' right against unreasonable search and seizure -- are, in alphabetical order: Daniel Akaka of Alaska, Joe Biden, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Robert Byrd, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Bryan Dorgan, Dick Durbin, Russ Feingold, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, Amy Klobuchar, Frank Lautenberg, Pat Leahy, Carl Levin, Bob Menendez, Patty Murray, Jack Reed, Harry Reid, Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Debbie Stabenow, Jon Tester, and Ron Wyden. If their name isn't on that list, they are no better than a Republican. I'm looking at you, Barack Obama.

This action today by the Congress signals not just forgiveness of what the telecoms did, but also the felony committed by the President of the United States. As for the legislation, the ACLU will challenge its constitutionality the minute it is signed into law:

"This fight is not over. We intend to challenge this bill as soon as President Bush signs it into law," said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project, in a statement. "The bill allows the warrantless and dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international telephone and email communications. It plainly violates the Fourth Amendment."

On to the Supreme Court eventually, during an Obama administration (and perhaps with a different combination of Justices than the current).

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