Press Releases

Lee, Leahy REAX On Circuit Court Ruling On NSA’s Phone Surveillance Program

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) On Circuit Court Ruling On The NSA’s Telephone Surveillance Program

May 07 2015

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) issued the following comment Thursday after a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of Americans’ phone records goes beyond what is authorized under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Leahy and Lee are the bipartisan coauthors of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, which would end bulk collection under Section 215 and require greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities.  Three provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including Section 215, are due to sunset on June 1.]

“The dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records is unnecessary and ineffective, and now a federal appellate court has found that the program is illegal. Congress should not reauthorize a bulk collection program that the court has found to violate the law. We will not consent to any extension of this program. The House is poised to pass the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 next week, and the Senate should do the same. We urge the Majority Leader to bring the USA FREEDOM Act up for a vote next week after the House passes it.”