Capitol Hill Briefing

What’s Up with the PATRIOT Act? Concerns about the Legislative Response to 9/11 and the Prospect of a PATRIOT II

April 14, 2003 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

B-338 Rayburn House Office Building

Featuring Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute; and Jim Dempsey, Executive Director, Center for Democracy and Technology.

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Less than seven weeks after the atrocity of September 11, 2001, Congress passed the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act. There are now rumors of a second PATRIOT Act. Although the shock and anger over 9/11 that fueled the first act are understandable, some aspects of the legislation raise concerns. Tim Lynch will discuss the dangers that always follow such a national crisis, including the temptation to abandon procedural norms and the expansion and concentration of power in the executive branch. Jim Dempsey will discuss some specific concerns with the PATRIOT Act, recommend legislative responses to some of its more troublesome provisions, and comment on current proposals for further legislation (PATRIOT II).