FISA tabled

Finally, some Democrats led by Harry Reid Chris Dodd stood up and said no. There will be no immunity given to the Telecoms. Harry Reid has pulled the bill from the floor.

Chris Dodd – “Today we have scored a victory for American civil liberties and sent a message to President Bush that we will not tolerate his abuse of power and veil of secrecy,” said Dodd. “The President should not be above the rule of law, nor should the telecom companies who supported his quest to spy on American citizens. I thank all my colleagues who joined me in fighting and winning a stay in the rush to grant retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies who may have violated the privacy rights of millions of Americans. Over the coming weeks I will fight to build support for my amendment to strip immunity from the FISA legislation when the Senate once again considers this matter early next year. I will continue to use every parliamentary tool at my disposal to ensure that the Senate does not enact legal protections to shield from law suits those who violated the privacy rights of our citizens.”

This should be a principle that every Democrat can get behind. No company should bow to the President just because he is the President. Every company and every person in this country should honor the Constitution.

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From RS:

After nearly 10 hours of discussion Monday, the Senate decided to delay a final vote on a controversial domestic spying bill until the new year, under the threat of a protracted filibuster from Sen. Chris Dodd.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spent the afternoon Monday huddling with Senate leaders and fellow Democrats to try to work out a deal over an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. As the FISA update was written, it included a provision for legal immunity to telecommunications companies that facilitated a warrantless wiretapping scheme that Dodd and other Democrats said was illegal. (more…)