Failure of Paul Amendment Clears Way for Patriot Act Renewal

by Gabe Bullard on May 26, 2011

Kentucky’s senior Senator Mitch McConnell won a legislative victory over his colleague Rand Paul today.

Senator Paul had proposed an amendment to a measure extending the Patriot Act for four years. The amendments delayed action on the legislation, which was likely Paul’s goal. He says the Patriot Act, which was passed in response to the 9/11 attacks, is far-reaching to the point of being unconstitutional.

“Because we changed the standard of the 4th Amendment from probable cause to relevance. So if they want to look at your records, they just have to say it’s relevant. They don’t have to say you’re a terrorist. They don’t have to say you’re a foreigner. They don’t have to say you’re conspiring with anyone. They just have to say they have some interest in your library records.”

But Senator McConnell, under pressure from the White House, was able to organize a bipartisan group of Senators to vote down Paul’s amendment and close debate. That paves the way for the Patriot Act to be extended for another four years.

Kentucky Public Radio’s Dan Conti contributed to this┬áreport.

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