Good for Chuck! Now, instead of writing to complain, I can write and congratulate him on his good sense. That's a relief for both of us.From Newsday:
Chuck Schumer's spokesman tells us that he's going to oppose the current version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation, which immunizes telcom companies for past implementation of Bush's requests and expands the government's capacity to surveil without court approval.
If Schumer backs an effort to remove the immunity provisions, that could be a big deal. Obama has come out against those provisions, but Schumer is a strategic signal caller in the Senate. The key question: Will Schumer support a filibuster on removing immunity from the bill?
If the provisions come out, the compromise legislation could fall apart. But civil liberties advocates have mounted a strong campaign against the idea of Democrats retroactively approving Bush's exercise of surveillance powers outside the FISA law's statutory scheme.
No signal yet from Sen. Clinton on her position, and it's not clear whether the Democrats will have enough votes to successfully attack the immunity issue. All of Long Island's House members supported the bill with telcom immunity in it, except for Steve Israel.