Like many, I wrote to Senator Casey asking him to vote against the recent FISA bill, which basically says corporations don't have to follow the constitution if the government tells them secretly they don't have to worry about it.
Really, why should a corporation have to obey the constitution, the highest law in the land?
Here's what Casey said in response. What do you think?
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I appreciate hearing from all Pennsylvanians about this important issue.
After careful deliberation, on July 9, 2008, I voted in favor of legislation to revise and update the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act of 1978. This bill is not perfect, but it does improve on the legislation hurried into law last summer by the White House when it comes to strengthening civil liberties protections for Americans, enhancing judicial oversight, and providing the intelligence community with the necessary tools and legal authorities to target terrorists who would do harm to the American people.
Despite these improvements, I also believe the bill had some significant shortcomings. For that reason, I proudly voted for the Feingold-Dodd amendment that would have stripped immunity for telecommunication firms that may have cooperated with the President's warrantless surveillance program from the bill. Additionally, I have cosponsored and spoke on the Senate floor in support of the Bingaman amendment that would have delayed these limited immunity provisions until the Congress receives a final report on the President's warrantless surveillance program. Unfortunately, both of these amendments failed to gain the necessary support for passage.
However, I was pleased that the legislation enshrines the principle that the FISA statute is the exclusive authority for electronic surveillance and that the President must obey the FISA statute. It also restores the principle of basic judicial oversight over all surveillance activities and re-establishes the principal of accountability by requiring a comprehensive Inspector General's report on the President's warrantless surveillance program within a year. It is for these reasons I ultimately chose to vote in favor of the final bill.
I have been gratified to hear from so many of my constituents on this issue. Please be assured that I kept your concerns in mind as I deliberated and cast my vote. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
If you have access to the Internet, I encourage you to visit my web site, http://casey.senate.gov. I invite you to use this online office as a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.
United States Senator