Washington — With five state Legislatures in revolt against the Patriot Act, Congress begins reconsideration of the sweeping anti-terrorism legislation today. Last week, Montana joined four other states that have passed resolutions urging Congress to curb the broad powers granted to federal law enforcement agencies six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The resolution “protects our state’s rights and is what true Republicans in every red state should be doing,” said Montana state Rep. Rick Maedje, a Republican.
Similar measures have passed in the “blue,” or Democratic-leaning, states of Vermont, Maine and Hawaii, as well as in Alaska, which like Montana is Republican “red.” A coalition to rein in the Patriot Act is headed by former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican, and has members ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to Americans For Tax Reform. “It’s our No. 1 legislative priority,” Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said Monday. (MORE)