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Patriot Act legislation stalls as six senators threaten to block reauthorization bill

[JURIST] Legislation to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act [PDF text; JURIST news archive], many provisions of which are due to expire at the end of the year if not renewed, stalled Thursday as members of the bill's negotiating committee worked to appease some senators who are concerned about the removal of civil liberties protections. Senators on the committee have not yet agreed to the tentative House-Senate compromise [JURIST report] reached on Wednesday, since they are aware that six Republican and Democratic senators have threatened to block the USA Patriot Act and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 [bill summary] when it reaches the Senate floor. The six senators voiced concerns that the compromise removed civil liberty protections that senators had previously agreed upon, including the removal of a Senate requirement that the government inform individuals about secret searches of their homes or businesses within seven to 30 days, and removal of a Senate proposal that would have mandated law enforcement authorities to come under judicial review for searches [JURIST report] of financial, medical, library, and schools. The US House of Representatives had hoped to approve the compromise Friday so Congress could adjourn for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the civil liberties concerns may push back the vote. AP has more.

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