Patriot Act Section 215

USA Freedom Act Passes

Francine Kiefer, Christian Science Monitor

After letting the US government’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records go “dark” for two days, the Senate on Tuesday passed a bipartisan House bill that reforms a section of the Patriot Act. President Obama, who argued for the reforms, signed the bill Tuesday evening.

Can You "Compromise" On The Constitution?

We don't think you can "compromise" on the Constitution. This would seem to be the time for constitutionalists in Congress to strike and to rein-in the abuses of the Fourth Amendment that have gradually built-up like barnacles on our right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Unfortunately, with the USA Freedom Act, Congress is headed in the wrong direction.

Rand Paul pummeled by warhawk critics and media over NSA

Howard Kurtz, Fox News

Rand Paul may be the most unpopular Republican in Washington right now. Which doesn’t necessarily hurt his presidential campaign.The Kentucky lawmaker single-handedly blocked the Senate from extending the NSA’s bulk records surveillance authority, which ended—at least temporarily—at midnight Sunday.

NSA must end bulk data collection even as Senate moves ahead on bill

Jeremy Diamond and Ted Barrett, CNN

The government will stop collecting telephone metadata on millions of Americans after midnight Sunday, even after the Senate approved a key procedural motion to vote on a bill to reform that program. But that doesn't mean the debate about metadata collection is over.

Senate to let NSA spy program lapse, at least temporarily

Patricia Zengerle and Warren Strobel, Reuters

The U.S. Senate advanced legislation on Sunday reforming a controversial program that collects Americans' telephone call records, but final passage appeared doubtful before the surveillance system expires at midnight. The Senate voted 77-17 in favor of a measure that allowed the chamber to begin debate on the bill, called the USA Freedom Act. But the domestic surveillance program was still due to expire at midnight (12:00 a.m. EDT on Monday) after Senator Rand Paul blocked several attempts at short-term extensions.

Senate fails to keep NSA surveillance programs from expiring

Fox News

The Senate failed Sunday to strike a deal to extend the NSA’s phone surveillance program before the midnight deadline. Members of the GOP-controlled chamber returned Sunday to Capitol Hill in a last-ditch effort to extend the National Security Agency’s authority to collect Americans' phone records in bulk to search for terror connections and to authorize two other programs under the post-9/11 Patriot Act.

Sen. Rand Paul: 'There has to be another way'

Senator Rand Paul

I have fought for several years now to end the illegal spying of the National Security Agency on ordinary Americans. The callous use of general warrants and the disregard for the Bill of Rights must end. Forcing us to choose between our rights and our safety is a false choice, and we are better than that as a nation and as a people.

Fitzgibbons Fires Back: Patriot Act Metadata Collection “unsupported by the Constitution”

In America, neither individuals nor businesses are expected to hand over data or other private property to government without probable cause and a judge-issued warrant, or after trial under due process. Popular sentiment and the Bill of Rights are aligned on this. We’re not supposed to be a police state, which is why the Fourth Amendment’s protecting this private property from the government is quintessential American law over government says constitutional lawyer Mark Fitzgibbons, and we agree.

Are Rand Paul’s NSA Metadata Concerns Misplaced?

Earlier this week Fox News’s Megyn Kelly conducted an incisive interview with Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) about his opposition to the National Security Agency’s metadata-collection program under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act (the business-records provision). That interview prompted our good friend Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review to post a detailed rebuttal of Paul’s position that was so thought provoking we think it needs further discussion from our large audience of constitutionalists.

Mitch McConnell Scrambling To Let Obama Keep Failed Snooping Powers

Mitch McConnell is counting on his opponents not being able to muster the 60 votes needed to pass the USA Freedom Act, leaving them with the choice of either extending Section 215 of The Patriot Act or seeing all of the powers expire — including those that would go after specific terrorist suspects. McConnell cynically believes that, faced with that choice, enough of his colleagues will vote to extend all of the Patriot Act's surveillance powers. We urge you to contact your Senators and urge them to join Senator Rand Paul in supporting the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act as an alternative to the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. The Capitol switchboard is 1-866-220-0044, call your Senator today.


Matthew Boyle, Breitbart

Cruz, who doesn’t entirely agree with Paul on National Security Agency (NSA) bulk data collection as contained in the PATRIOT Act’s Section 215, came to the floor to applaud Paul’s big move for liberty. “I thank the senator from Kentucky,” Cruz said when he took the floor. “I would note he and I agree on a great many issues, although we don’t agree entirely on this issue, but I want to take the opportunity to thank the senator from Kentucky for his passionate defense of liberty. His is a voice that this body needs to listen to."

Rand Paul Stages Filibuster To Protest Patriot Act

The NSA's bulk collection of telephone records violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the country's citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures, Senator Rand Paul said. "I see no reason you can't have security and the Constitution at the same time," said Paul. "There's no reason why we can't catch terrorists like we catch other bad people in our society, by using the Constitution." 

Senator Jeff Sessions: Keep Patriot Act As Is

In a powerfully argued op-ed in yesterday’s National Review Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, one of Capitol Hill’s leading limited government constitutional conservatives and the de facto leader of the growing “populist conservative” movement, spoke in support of keeping the Patriot Act, and especially its controversial Section 215 data collection program unchanged saying, "it should not be more difficult to investigate a terrorist plot than check fraud." Senator Sessions’ conclusion – that it ought not be more difficult to investigate terrorism than it is to investigate a common felony case was echoed by the Editors of National Review, who posted a complimentary editorial supporting the renewal of the Patriot Act.

Rand Paul: 'Whatever it takes to stop' Patriot Act reauthorization

Jeremy Diamond, CNN

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said he will do "everything humanly possible" to keep the Senate from reauthorizing the Patriot Act. However, a handful of powerful Senate Republicans are pushing to reauthorize the Patriot Act without any reforms.

A Long-Awaited Reform to the Patriot Act

Russell Berman, The Atlantic

In a bipartisan vote of 338-88, the House on Wednesday afternoon passed the USA Freedom Act, which seeks to restrain the nation’s surveillance state while extending other key parts of the 2001 Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the month. At its core, the House measure ends the NSA’s bulk collection program first exposed two years ago by Edward Snowden, and requires the government to be more transparent about the data it seeks from citizens. 

Capitol Hill Conservatives Split On Patriot Act – What Say You?

Contending approaches as to what to do about renewing Section 215 of the Patriot Act appear to have split liberty-minded members of Congress with some, like Sen. Mike Lee, supporting the "USA Freedom Act," while others, led by Sen. Rand Paul, support the 'Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act." Other Republicans, such as Senators Marco Rubio and Mitch McConnell support a "clean" renewal of the Patriot Act. Update: In a bipartisan vote of 338-88, the House on Wednesday afternoon passed the USA Freedom Act.