Action Alert: Senate Judiciary Mark Up On FISA — Call To Oppose Telco Immunity

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up the FISA reform legislation today, Thursday November 15.

The bottom line is that now is the time to call the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to oppose retroactive immunity for telecom companies that helped the Bush administration spy on Americans without warrant.

MYDD has this post with a call to action and announces that they will cover the cost of your phone call to the Senate Judiciary members. Follow the link to Chris Dodd’s campaign website to take action now!

[UPDATE 7:14 PM Thursday, by John]: I just got an email from Senator Dodd’s office announcing victory in the Judiciary Committee today. I’ll enter the letter in a comment below the fold.

Stay tuned . . . .


  1. I just called Durbin’s and Whitehouse’s offices. As of 12:17 PM eastern time, neither has announced how they intend to vote.

    There is still time to make your voice heard. I intend to call several more Senators. My own Senator has announced his plans to vote No, so that’s good.

    When I call Senators of other states, I don’t volunteer where I’m calling from, but if they ask I tell the truth. I’m sure that constituent voices carry more weight than out-of-state voices, but I think it helps to let them know that the whole country is watching and depends on them to uphold our threatened constitution.

  2. Email from Senator Dodd’s office:

    Dear John,

    As they say … Breaking News from the Senate.

    Forgive me if some of this is in the weeds, I’ll try and make the parliamentary process as painless as possible.

    1. Within the last hour, the Senate Judiciary Committee just reported out a FISA bill that DOES NOT include retroactive immunity for the telecom companies that helped the Bush Administration spy on Americans.
    2. This means the Judiciary bill moves to the full Senate WITHOUT the dangerous language included.
    3. Retroactive immunity will, however, surely be introduced as an amendment to the FISA bill.
    4. If needed Senator Dodd will filibuster any amendment seeking to add retroactive immunity to the underlying bill. By filibustering, he will force the opposition to find 60 votes to pass the provision.

    It will be a lot more difficult for those who would enable the erosion of our Constitution to find the 60 votes necessary to stop immunity on its own than it would be for us to find the 40 needed to sustain a filibuster of the bill as a whole if it included immunity.

    Today is a great victory for all of us — and another example of Chris Dodd’s leadership.

    If it wasn’t for our efforts, together, retroactive immunity would be well on its way to sailing through the Senate … largely unnoticed.

    The fight continues, for sure, but this was a big victory today.

    Visit for more updates as they happen.

    We’ll be in touch.

    Tim Tagaris
    Chris Dodd for President

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