Saturday, July 15, 2006

Letter to Senator Feinstein: The Specter Capitulation Bill

Dear Senator Feinstein,

As your records must show, we have been corresponding on the matter of the NSA's illegal wiretapping programs since February, and I have been following the scanadal since December of last year.

You most recently replied to me on July 12th, very soon after the momentous Hamdan decision, and told me that you are cosponsoring Senator Specter's bill. This bill was described in the Washington Post today as "not a compromise but a full-fledged capitulation on the part of the legislative branch to executive claims of power".

I have read the proposed legislation, I have listened to the opinions of legal scholars, and I agree that this bill does nothing to protect the rights of citizens and everything to erode them. I must tell you that this bill undermines the Bill of Rights, and that it must not pass. You have a duty as a Senator to defend and protect the Constitution, and with this bill you decline this responsibility.

You decline this responsibility when the bill retroactively permits the present Administration (and every Administration back to 1978) to have executed the warrantless searches you know - because you told me so - are illegal. This is in direct opposition to the intent of the FISA framers such as your colleague on the Judiciary Committee, Senator Biden.

You decline this responsibility when the bill yields to the Administration everything that the Hamdan decision struck down, and more power than even they have ever asked for.
Please withdraw your support for this misbegotten, ill-advised legislation which would do so much to damage the Bill of Rights and the checks and balances in our System of Government which have served so well. The bill is beneath you, it is unworthy of you, and your constituents and the Constitution deserve better.

We already have better. Chuck Schumer's S.2468. Please join Senator Schumer.

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