The Democratic Senator Who Takes Civil Liberties Seriously

3372hold on The Democratic Senator Who Takes Civil Liberties Seriously

Roll Call
has a
profile up about how Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has gummed up
the works of the Senate Intelligence Committee over concerns about
civil liberties. Excerpt:

Sen. ;Ron Wyden ;insists he doesn’t have a grudge
against fellow Democrat ;Dianne Feinstein ;of California.
What he does have, though, is a hold on her two legislative
priorities of the lame-duck session — and he has, in fact, placed a
hold on every major bill coming out of her Intelligence Committee
in the past two years.
Wyden’s moves to block the two latest bills — a spy agency
reauthorization measure (S 3454) aimed at cracking down on leaks
and an extension of expiring surveillance provisions from a 2008
law — are the newest demonstrations of how the Oregon Democrat has
become the Senate’s hardest line to cross on civil liberties issues
in the national security arena. [...]
He was one of just five Democrats who voted Nov. 14 against
advancing a cybersecurity bill (S 3414) backed by his party’s
leadership and President Barack Obama. He has been among a small
handful of Democratic senators seeking the Obama administration’s
legal justification for the targeted killing of U.S. citizens
suspected of being overseas terrorists, requests he said have gone
But sometimes, his approach nets gains: His decision to block an
earlier intelligence authorization bill over provisions aimed at
cracking down on leaks resulted in the panel stripping the language
so that it could advance on the Senate floor.
He also led the successful fight against a Senate anti-piracy
measure that he said would impinge on free speech. Initially, the
bill had broad Senate support, but later it was stalled by a
grass-roots opposition campaign that saw numerous senators pull
their backing.

Too bad there aren’t more Democrats like Ron Wyden, or
Republicans like Rand Paul. (Link via InstaPundit.) Reason
on Wyden here.

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The Democratic Senator Who Takes Civil Liberties Seriously

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