Portal:Rights, Liberties and Courts Policy (U.S.)/In the news

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  • The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a biapartisan bill governing foreign intelligence surveillance that granted retroactive immunity to telecom companies that participated in warrantless wiretapping, meant to replace the August-passed Protect America Act of 2007.
  • Rep. Steny Hoyer introduced the RESTORE Act to amend FISA on Oct. 9, 2007 as a replacement for the August-passed Protect America Act (PAA).
  • After House and Senate Democrats reluctantly allowed the FISA bill to pass, President Bush signed it into law on Aug. 5, extending the powers of the warrantless surveillance program.
  • In its continuing investigation of the warrantless surveillance program, the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House, the Justice Department, and Vice President Dick Cheney for copies of internal documents about the program's legality and agreements with telecommunications companies that participated in the program on Jun. 28.
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) urged the State Department to hire homosexual military translators discharged under the military's “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on Jun. 25.
  • The House passed a gun control bill, the NICS Improvement Act of 2007 (H.R.297), on Jun. 13 to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by improving state reporting to the FBI's national database.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a meeting to authorize subpoenas as a part of its investigation of the NSA warrentless surveillance program on Jun. 12. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), unable to get the records of legal opinions detailing Bush administration's support for the program, led a call to subpoena Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for the information.
  • The House passed a bill sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to increase hate crime protections and prosecutions on May 3 by a vote of 237-180.
  • The House passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) to prohibit the commercial sale and slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros on Apr. 26.
  • President Bush signed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (S. 3880), sponsored by Senators James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which gave the Department of Justice additional authority to apprehend and prosecute individuals who commit animal enterprise terror, on Nov. 27, 2006.
  • President Bush signed a bill limiting internet gambling by prohibiting the transfer of funds from financial institutions to internet gaming sites on Oct. 13, 2006.