Al Franken reads the Fourth Amendment to DoJ official at PATRIOT Act hearings

Al Franken's Senate career just keeps on getting better: this week he read the Fourth Amendment ("no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.") aloud to a high-ranking Department of Justice official who was making the case for renewing the PATRIOT Act's provision for roving wiretaps.

"That's pretty explicit language," noted Franken, asking Kris how the "roving wiretap" provision of the Patriot Act can meet that requirement if it doesn't require the government to name its target.

Kris looked flustered and mumbled that "this is surreal," apparently referring to having to respond to Franken's question. "I would defer to the other branch of government," he said, referring to the courts, prompting Franken to interject: "I know what that is."

Kris explained that the courts have held that the law's requirements that the person be described, though not named, is sufficient to meet the demands of the Constitution. That did not appear to completely satisfy Franken's concerns.

Al Franken Reads the 4th Amendment to Justice Department Official

(via Greg Laden)