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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Thanks, Bernie!


In the first major victory for critics of the Patriot Act, the House on Wednesday approved legislation by Rep. Bernie Sanders to repeal a portion of the controversial anti-terrorism law enacted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

The Vermont independent won a 238-187 vote to throw out the Patriot Act section that makes it easier for federal agents to find out what books people have purchased from stores or borrowed from libraries.

Thirty-eight Republicans joined Sanders and 199 Democrats to approve the bill.

Says Bernie:

This is a tremendous victory that restores important Constitutional rights to the American people. The passage of this amendment helps reign in an Administration intent on chipping away at the very civil liberties that define us as a nation. We must do all we can to protect Americans from terrorism, but we must do it in a way that does not undermine the basic constitutional rights that makes us a free country. American citizens from across the political spectrum have made it clear that they do not want the government monitoring their reading habits. This amendment ensures that Big Brother will not be reading over our shoulders.

Of course, Bush threatens to finally break out the veto stamp from his middle desk drawer...


[Update: unsurprisingly, this pleases Jessamyn West.]

June 16, 2005 | Permalink


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This is a great development for librarians (and readers) everywhere...

The only drawback is that, in order to make this happen, they had to give in regarding library Internet use, which is still subject to surveillance and investigation without subpoena. So it's only a partial victory, alas.

Posted by: rorschach | Jun 16, 2005 10:11:35 AM

I can't possibly imagine Bush vetoing this. It would be a disaster for the next Repub Presidential candidate.

Posted by: A Lerxst in Wonderland | Jun 16, 2005 10:18:00 AM

I wonder who the idiot Democrats who voted against this bill were.

Posted by: Horatio | Jun 16, 2005 2:03:11 PM

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