ongress managed to pass and get to President Bush for signature the amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which sought to remedy an April decision by the FISA court which had blocked certain surveillance of international calls. Orin Kerr has an excellent analysis
of the new law. What is interesting is the Senate vote. Red State Democratic Senators like Webb, Salazar, Pryor and Nelson voted yes. Hillary, Biden, Obama and the Blue State Democrats voted no. There were a few exceptions- Baucus and Tester from Montana voted no. At least for Democrats from states where they must compete for and win the votes of Republicans and Independents, the “weak on national security” charge still packs a punch. As for Hillary and Obama, they no doubt are banking that this will be ancient history by Election Day 2008.The new law is only a 6- month stopgap and will need to be re-examined well in advance of November 2008. We’ll see how everyone votes closer to the election.