Action Alert
October 10, 2001


From the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Urge House Action on H.R. 2975


- The House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill on a bipartisan basis that seeks to address several critical civil liberties concerns, and most importantly includes a sunset provision for expanded law enforcement authority.

- While the House bill still raises many civil liberties concerns, it reflects a deliberative process and the input of many members of both parties who sought to address law enforcement interests and to safeguard civil liberties.

- The Senate bill does not contain the same civil liberties safeguards.

- Dangerously, the Senate bill would also weaken the authority of state disciplinary bodies to subject federal prosecutors to state ethics rules; this abrogates the McDade-Murtha Law, which was enacted in 1998 with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

- The Administration is seeking to avoid action on the House proposal arguing instead that the normal legislative process be suspended so that a bill can be passed quickly without consideration of all the issues raised in the course of the House debate.

- Action by the Administration and the leadership over the next few days could prevent consideration of the House measure.


- Contact House Speaker Hastert and urge him to call for a vote on HR 2975, the PATRIOT Act

Hon. J. Dennis Hastert
Speaker of the House
Tel: 202-225-0600
Fax: 202-226-1996

Key points:

> The democratic process requires consideration of important matters in both the House and Senate

> The House bill contains several critical civil liberties safeguards that are not in the Senate measure

> The House bill reflects careful deliberation of complex issues and bipartisan consensus

> The sunset provision must be preserved

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