Evan Perez reports:
The Patriot Act, one of most prominent expansions of federal authority in the past decade, received overwhelming Republican backing in 2006 when it was first up for renewal. This year, even as the surge of the tea party brought to Washington a new legion of lawmakers suspicious of government power, the law again has a good chance of being reauthorized.
Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, made the Patriot Act a major 2010 campaign issue. He said it threatened the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches, just as gun control threatened Second Amendment rights to bear arms.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon also objects to the government’s power under the act to subpoena business records that are “relevant” to a terrorism investigation, without seeking a court warrant. He said that gives federal agents virtual carte blanche to seize records from any business that looks suspicious without having to persuade a judge.
Read more in the Wall Street Journal.