July 29, 2005

Contact: Media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON - Following the Senate passage of legislation to reauthorize the Patriot Act -- without floor debate -- the American Civil Liberties Union today called the bill a step in the right direction, but lacking in full protections for the civil liberties and civil rights of all Americans. The measure was adopted by unanimous consent - a procedural move that means no vote was taken, and no debate was held.

The Senate Judiciary Committee previously approved the bill.

The following can be attributed to Lisa Graves, ACLU Senior Counsel for Legislative Strategy:

"This good faith effort made by Senators, while imperfect, is a good starting point, and is vastly better than its counterpart passed by the House. Although the ACLU was unable to endorse the final bill, it contains some provisions mindful of the Bill of Rights, and does not include such broad and unnecessary powers like administrative subpoenas.

"It would appear that the voices of millions of Americans were heard by the Senate. Nearly 400 communities around the country have passed resolutions calling for the Patriot Act to be brought in line with the constitution by restoring proper checks and balances. As the House and Senate bills go to conference, we urge lawmakers to use the Senate bill as a guide to heed this call for freedom."

To read the ACLU's press release on the Senate Judiciary Committee's passage of the bill, go to:

For more on the ACLU's concerns with the Patriot Act, go to:

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