May 18, 2005 – Within days of Colorado lawmakers passing a joint resolution calling on Congress to change key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the US Senate announced it would take its review of the controversial law behind closed doors.
Colorado became the 7th state to urge Congress to reject portions of the Patriot Act, including those that allow law enforcement officers to conduct some searches without first obtaining search warrants, and to search library and bookstore records of suspects who may have nothing to do with terrorism. Some of the more controversial elements of the law, passed within weeks of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will expire if not renewed at the end of this year.
Colorado's resolution, which its Senate approved with a 32-2 vote and its House passed with a vote of 39-29, follows similar measures in Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana and Idaho, and in 383 large and small communities across the country.
On Tuesday, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence announced that Thursday it would hold a session that would be closed to the public because the 15-member panel would discuss how the Patriot Act applies in actual intelligence operations. The ACLU criticized the committee for keeping discussion about the law secret and moving too quickly to reauthorize the law.