With several important provisions of the PATRIOT Act up for renewal before the end of the year, I’m incredibly pleased to see that Russ Feingold has introduced the JUSTICE Act, which is a kind of civil libertarian’s fantasy omnibus bill. It not only reins in the worst excesses of two of the three sunsetting provisions, but makes important changes to National Security Letter powers, the material witness statutes, and (nearest and dearest to my own heart) last year’s execrable FISA Amendments Act. Obama’s Justice Department has called for the renewal of the expiring PATRIOT provisions but declared itself “willing to consider” possible “modifications” that would enhance accountability and due process. Now let’s see if the folks who held Obama’s feet to the fire when he reneged on his promise to filibuster the FISA amendments will push him to throw the weight of his office behind JUSTICE.
Update: Not sure it’s online elsewhere yet; here’s the full text.