WASHINGTON House Democrats left the capital on Friday after passing the $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation without taking up a Senate bill to temporarily revive three expired F.B.I. surveillance tools for terrorism and espionage investigations, ensuring that the laws will remain lapsed at least until the Senate returns from vacation next month.
The series of laws, which includes two provisions created by the Patriot Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, expired on March 15. They give investigators the power to get court orders for business records deemed relevant to a national security investigation, and to swiftly follow around a wiretap target who changes phone lines in an attempt to evade monitoring.
A spokeswoman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not explain why she did not bring up the legislation while House members were briefly back in Washington to vote on the stimulus package.
Kerri Kupec, a Justice Department spokeswoman, promoted changes that the F.B.I. has already made to tighten its use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, and said the department still wanted the House to pass the Senate bill.
We urge the House to approve the Senate-passed temporary extension, she said, as soon as possible to avoid any further gap in our national security capabilities over the next several weeks and look forward to working with the Senate when it takes up the Houses bipartisan package of reforms.
Still, the lapse of several more weeks may not have a significant operational effect on the F.B.I., said Julian Sanchez, a specialist in surveillance legal policy at the Cato Institute.
That is because of the way the law is written. A so-called savings clause permits the laws to remain in effect for investigations that already existed on March 15, or for new investigations into events that occurred before then.
The authorities remain available for either investigations open at the time of expiration or investigations predicated on underlying conduct that predates the sunset date, Mr. Sanchez said.
The F.B.I. has open-ended investigations into long-term organizational threats, including major terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State and the espionage agencies of foreign adversaries like Russia and China. Thus, the FISA court that has oversight of national security surveillance can still issue orders giving investigators the power to target a newly identified suspect linked to one of those entities.
The third expired provision permits eavesdropping on a so-called lone wolf terrorist who is not part of an established foreign terrorist group. That provision could be invoked now only if the F.B.I. can show that a newly identified targets suspicious conduct included actions before March 15.
But that theoretical risk may not matter operationally either, Mr. Sanchez said, noting that as far as has been disclosed, the F.B.I. has never used the lone wolf provision.
A majority of lawmakers in both chambers support extending the expired provisions, but they have been caught up in a larger argument over whether and how strictly to impose new restrictions on the F.B.I.s FISA powers after an inspector generals damning report found numerous factual errors and omissions in applications to target the former Trump adviser Carter Page during the Russia investigation.
The House passed a bill, negotiated by Ms. Pelosi and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader, this month before the provisions expired that would extend the expiring provisions while making changes to FISA.
The House bill, for example, would push the FISA court to appoint an outsider to critique the governments arguments when a wiretap application raised serious issues about First Amendment activity, which could include political campaigns.
It would also make clear that the government cannot use a FISA business records order to collect information like cellphone location data, which in a criminal investigation requires a search warrant that has a higher legal standard.
But amid objections from libertarian-leaning senators of both parties that the House bill fell short in curtailing surveillance powers, the Senate did not take it up.
- First Amendment Bright Line in the Digital Age - Courthouse News Service - July 11th, 2020
- Where Two or More Are Gathered, the First Amendment Should Protect Them - ChristianityToday.com - July 11th, 2020
- The third became the first | News | rheaheraldnews.com - Rheaheraldnews - July 11th, 2020
- The Class of Special Rights Called the First Amendment - National Review - July 11th, 2020
- Movie Theaters Sue New Jersey Claiming First Amendment Right to Reopen - Variety - July 11th, 2020
- The First Amendment and alternative proteins - Beef Magazine - July 11th, 2020
- Indie Director Blasts Government's Argument that Filming Isn't Protected Speech - Hollywood Reporter - July 11th, 2020
- The Civics Project: Constitutional wall between church and state forever being tested | Opinion - Florida Today - July 11th, 2020
- The First Amendment and our rights to speak, assemble and seek change - Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era - July 11th, 2020
- A Fractured Supreme Court Strikes Down and Severs the TCPAs Government Debt Exemption, Leaving the Rest of the Statute Intact - JD Supra - July 11th, 2020
- WATCH: Young Americans willing to give up First Amendment rights to avoid offending others - Campus Reform - July 11th, 2020
- JOHN KRULL: The Constitution, not Trump, protects images of Jesus - Goshen News - July 10th, 2020
- Taking a cellphone video of police? Theres a First Amendment for that - Seattle Times - June 28th, 2020
- Read the First Amendment | Letters To The Editor - The Central Virginian - June 28th, 2020
- Everyone should have the First Amendment right | News, Sports, Jobs - Marietta Times - June 28th, 2020
- Pence says First Amendment is why Trump campaign held Tulsa rally despite local health officials' warnings - Yahoo News - June 28th, 2020
- Lawyer On How Restraining Order On CMPD Will Protect Protesters' First Amendment Rights - WFAE - June 28th, 2020
- About the Town: Don't abuse freedoms | Opinion - The Baldwin Bulletin - June 28th, 2020
- Leader of group that flew Confederate flag over Talladega wrongly says NASCAR infringed on the First Amendment - Yahoo Sports - June 28th, 2020
- FEC Commissioner Caroline Hunter resigns from post, says commission 'needs to respect the First Amendment' - ABC News - June 28th, 2020
- RICH MACKE: Social media and the First Amendment - Scottsbluff Star Herald - June 22nd, 2020
- Lawyer On How Restraining Order On CMPD Will Protect Protesters' First Amendments Rights - WFAE - June 22nd, 2020
- Hollifield: Another look at the First Amendment - Bristol Herald Courier - June 22nd, 2020
- Death threats protected by First Amendment, attorney says - Alpena News - June 22nd, 2020
- What the US Supreme Court Might Do With the TCPA - The National Law Review - June 22nd, 2020
- First Amendment - Rights, U.S. Constitution & Freedoms ... - June 1st, 2020
- First Amendment | Contents & Supreme Court Interpretations ... - June 1st, 2020
- First Amendment RightsIf You Agree With the President - The Atlantic - June 1st, 2020
- Seeking Information on Individuals Inciting Violence During First Amendment-Protected Peaceful Demonstrations | Federal Bureau of Investigation -... - June 1st, 2020
- America's First Amendment is what sets it apart from the rest of the western world we have a duty to protect it - Highlander Newspaper - June 1st, 2020
- Delegate abuses First Amendment Rights | Letters To The Editor - The Central Virginian - June 1st, 2020
- Trump, Twitter and the First Amendment - The New York Times - June 1st, 2020
- First Amendment Rights and Twitter, Encryption Backdoors - Security Boulevard - June 1st, 2020
- Arrest of CNN Crew in Minneapolis a 'Violation of First Amendment' - Voice of America - June 1st, 2020
- Stand Up for the First Amendment - Flathead Beacon - June 1st, 2020
- Californias AntiFreelancer Law Violates the First Amendment - Yahoo News - June 1st, 2020
- Content Moderation, Section 230, and The First Amendment - AAF - American Action Forum - June 1st, 2020
- ACLU issues warning to police to protect First Amendment rights of protesters - KATC Lafayette News - June 1st, 2020
- First Amendment May Protect Use of Trademarks As Artistic Expression - JD Supra - June 1st, 2020
- Strictly Legal: Is Fox News entitled to First Amendment protection? - The Cincinnati Enquirer - June 1st, 2020
- First Amendment Foundation calls for Florida DOT to stop toll road webinars - Naples Daily News - June 1st, 2020
- Times Union takes First Amendment and Journalist of the Year, 11 other awards in statewide contest - Times Union - June 1st, 2020
- Trump's Executive Order Threatens to Leverage Government's Advertising Dollars to Pressure Online Platforms - EFF - June 1st, 2020
- SCOTUS Gets It Wrong on Church Limits [OPINION] - wbsm.com - June 1st, 2020
- Federal, California and Local Law Enforcement's Statement on the Death of George Floyd and Riots Says They Will Continue to Work Together to Protect... - June 1st, 2020
- First Amendment Legal Expert Floyd Abrams on Trump's Chilling Executive Order Designed to Kill Free Speech - Showbiz411 - June 1st, 2020
- Texas officials respond to demonstrations, unrest in wake of George Floyd killing - Community Impact Newspaper - June 1st, 2020
- Public Unions Must Notify Employees of Right to Opt Out, Attorney General Paxton Says - The Texan - June 1st, 2020
- 'The First Amendment is very clear': Sheriff's Office won't break up religious services for 'NY on PAUSE' violations - The Livingston County News - June 1st, 2020
- Fox News lawsuit would strip First Amendment protection from cable news, internet - Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - May 19th, 2020
- The Coronavirus Protests Are Protected by the Constitution - The New York Times - May 19th, 2020
- 'Catch and Release': Cops, Media and the Supreme Court - Crime Report - May 19th, 2020
- Lawsuits Filed to Overturn FDA Graphic Cigarette Warnings - CSPDailyNews.com - May 19th, 2020
- This Week in Technology + Press Freedom: May 17, 2020 - Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - May 19th, 2020
- Alleged threats against Norman Mayor Breea Clark protected by First Amendment, Norman Police Department determines - The Oklahoma Daily - May 19th, 2020
- 'We're concerned that our First Amendment rights are being trampled underfoot' | Winston-Salem pastor files lawsuit against Governor Cooper -... - May 19th, 2020
- New York Churches Dont Want To Be Among The Last To Reopen - WSKG.org - May 19th, 2020
- How a question of process almost killed a critical bill to help Wyoming's unemployed workers - Casper Star-Tribune Online - May 19th, 2020
- North Carolina churches allowed to have indoor services, win restraining order against religious restrictions - WXII12 Winston-Salem - May 19th, 2020
- State coronavirus shutdowns and the Constitution - Powell Tribune - May 19th, 2020
- Supreme Court: Clarence Thomas calls for shrinking the First Amendment - Vox.com - May 16th, 2020
- Frontline Reports From Healthcare Employees On COVID-19 Challenges May Constitute Protected Activity - Lexology - May 16th, 2020
- HT takes home 10 awards, 'Service to the First' honor in statewide competition - Rio Blanco Herald Times - May 16th, 2020
- Utah governor says it's the role of the county not the state to enforce COVID-19 orders - Salt Lake Tribune - May 16th, 2020
- Large dwellings main topic of discussion at Kill Devil Hills meeting - The Coastland Times - The Coastland Times - May 16th, 2020
- Onslow Sheriffs department will not interfere with indoor church services - Jacksonville Daily News - May 16th, 2020
- NEARI holds car rally, lauches website in defense of fired NEA Tiverton President - Uprise RI - May 16th, 2020
- Satanists support $4,700 cleaning bill sent to embattled Washington state Rep. Matt Shea - KING5.com - May 16th, 2020
- Lawsuit seeks to reopen all NJ businesses, allow in-person graduations - New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio - May 16th, 2020
- Lawsuit blaming Fox News for coronavirus is a threat to press freedom - Washington Examiner - May 16th, 2020
- The First Amendment To the Constitution of The United States of America - The Suburban Times - May 15th, 2020
- Divorcing couples have First Amendment right to disparage each other on social media, SJC rules - The Boston Globe - May 15th, 2020
- Exposing Russian information operations does not violate the First Amendment | TheHill - The Hill - May 15th, 2020
- The Price of the First Amendment "Is That We Must Put Up With a Good Deal of Rubbish" - Reason - May 15th, 2020
- What words make up a true threat? Well, that depends - The Mercury - May 15th, 2020
- The First Amendment and Broad Juror Intimidation Statutes - Reason - May 3rd, 2020
- Lawsuit filed against Marco Island alleges first amendment violation - Marco News - May 3rd, 2020
- Urgent Care Doctor Silenced By Youtube Says His First Amendment Rights Have Been Attacked - Sara A. Carter - May 3rd, 2020
- First amendment rights should not be suppressed, even during pandemic The News Journal - The News Journal - May 3rd, 2020
- MARTI CROW: Church gatherings and the first amendment - Leavenworth Times - May 3rd, 2020