Committee Votes to Expand Warrantless Surveillance Authority
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved several NSA bills today -- two of which would radically expand the President's authority to conduct warrantless surveillance inside the United States. Senator Arlen Specter's (R-Pa.) bill (S. 2453), which Specter revised to accommodate White House requests for greater authority, would ratify and dramatically expand the President's authority to wiretap Americans without judicial approval. Senator Mike DeWine's (R-Ohio) bill (S. 2455) would authorize warrantless wiretapping programs without prior judicial approval and under a lower standard than the Fourth Amendment requires. CDT supports the Specter-Feinstein measure (S. 3001), which, unlike the other bills, restores the constitutional balance of power while addressing the legitimate concerns the Administration has raised. The full Senate could take up the bills as early as next week.