Reps. Blumenauer and Tlaib Urge Judiciary Committee to Reform PATRIOT Act
October 31, 2019
Today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and fifteen Democratic colleagues sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (NY-10) and Ranking Member Doug Collins (GA-09) urging them to make robust, progressive reforms to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, which expires on December 15, 2019.
Government surveillance has historically had a disproportionate impact on people of color, but the extent to which the Call Detail Records (CDR) of Section 215 makes that surveillance possible puts those who hold political views that the current administration opposes under particular threat.
“Repealing the CDR provision of Section 215 is absolutely necessary to protecting the civil liberties every American citizen has a right to,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “This program has a history of violating constitutional rights, disproportionately harming people of color, and targeting those that have dissenting views of an administration, especially the current one. We also must enact meaningful reforms to protect against intrusive abuse of our first amendment rights and ensure that the most marginalized and vulnerable communities are safeguarded.”
“This legislation is a grave threat to the Constitutional Rights of the American people,” Congresswoman Tlaib said. “The CDR provision of Section 215 should absolutely be allowed to sunset on December 15th because of its history of misuse and its inherently broad and intrusive reach. Before any reauthorization, reforms need to be enacted so that Americans’, especially people of color’s, civil liberties are protected and that they are granted due notice when secretly gathered information is being used against them in court.”
To read the full letter, click here.