Congress passed a four-year extension of three provisions of the Patriot Act May 26, despite a spirited Senate effort to derail the bill by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who proposed amendments to exempt Americans' firearms records from the open-ended searches envisioned by the Patriot Act.
A highly partisan and ideologically charged Senate battle over the nomination of Goodwin Liu (left) to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came to an end Wednesday when the University of California law professor sent a letter to President Obama asking that his name be withdrawn. A Republican filibuster on Thursday of last week blocked a vote on confirmation and Liu decided that a further delay in filling the vacancy would do neither him nor the court any good.
Across the nation, states that have conservative Republicans running the government are tackling the entrenched power of unions. The Arizona State Legislature recently passed two bills which limit the activities of labor unions, both of which have been signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer (picture at left).
Most Americans undoubtedly agree that the federal government cannot continue on its current spending and borrowing binge without wreaking economic havoc. But how must the binge be brought under control? One idea that has just gotten traction in the state of North Dakota is for the states to call for a constitutional convention for the purpose of proposing a National Debt Relief Amendment (NDRA) to the U.S. Constitution. On April 7, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 4007 by a vote of 68 to 24, completing legislative action on the resolution and making their state the first in the nation to call for a constitutional convention to propose the NDRA.
Senator Rand Paul may have temporarily set back efforts by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass the Patriot Act renewal long enough to allow the law to expire for a day or two before the Senate can take a final vote on the bill.