Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Patriot Act passes, heads to President

The Patriot Act renewal passed today and is headed to the President’s desk for his signature. The passage came as a result of an agreement between the White House and Congress on restrictions to the Act.

These restrictions would:

— Give recipients of court-approved subpoenas for information in terrorist investigations the right to challenge a requirement that they refrain from telling anyone.

— Eliminate a requirement that an individual provide the FBI with the name of a lawyer consulted about a National Security Letter, which is a demand for records issued by investigators.

— Clarify that most libraries are not subject to demands in those letters for information about suspected terrorists.

The legislation also takes aim at the distribution and use of methamphetamine by limiting the supply of a key ingredient found in everyday cold and allergy medicines.

Yet another provision is designed to strengthen port security by imposing strict punishments on crew members who impede or mislead law enforcement officers trying to board their ships.

I’m not sure the Act was the proper place for elevating Nyquil to the controlled substances list, but that’s Congress for you.