Senate Votes Down 3rd Amendment on Telecom Immunity

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February 12, 2008 11:19 a.m.

This one was an amendment by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Ben Cardin (D-MD). It went down 41-57.

The amendment was another attempt at compromise over retroactive immunity for the telecoms. Under the amendment, the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would have reviewed the telecoms’ participation in the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program to determine whether that participation “complied with the legal requirements of FISA or was legal or undertaken in good faith with an objectively reasonable belief that such assistance was lawful.” If the court found that the companies should have known that what they were participating in was illegal, the pending lawsuits against the telecoms would have been allowed to continue.

Once again, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), unwilling to compromise, voted nay along with a number of senators who’d also voted down the attempt to strip retroactive immunity from the bill, Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) among them.

Update: Here’s the final tally.

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