History of the Patriot Act
The history of the USA PATRIOT Act involved many parties who opposed and supported the legislation, which was proposed, enacted and signed into law 45 days after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The USA PATRIOT Act, though approved by large majorities in the U.S. Senate and House of Representative, was controversial, and parts of the law were invalidated or modified by successful legal challenges over constitutional infringements to civil liberties. The Act had several sunset provisions, most reauthorized by the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and the USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act. Both reauthorizations incorporated amendments to the original USA PATRIOT Act, and other federal laws.The catalyst for the USA PATRIOT Act occurred on September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and the western side of the Pentagon near Washington D.C. Within a few weeks of the September 11 attacks, a number of bills attempting to make changes to anti-terrorism laws were introduced into Congress. After the USA PATRIOT Act was passed it remained controversial, and began to be questioned by some members of Congress. A number of sections were struck by the courts. Some provisions were challenged by the ACLU, who filed a lawsuit on April 9, 2004. In April 2005, a Senate Judicial Hearing on the Patriot Act was held. The Act was as controversial as ever, and more than a few groups were campaigning against it. Aside from the EFF, the ACLU, the CDT and the EPIC, the Act had raised the ire of the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression, who were all extremely concerned about the provisions of the Patriot Act.In June, the Select Committee on Intelligence proposed legislation to the House on July 21 as the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005. It repealed the sunset date for surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act — in other words, it would have made those sections permanent. A number of amendments were also proposed and passed. The House responded on September 11 that they unanimously disagreed with the Senate amendment, and agreed to a conference. One provision struck down was the so-called ""sneak and peek"" provisions of the Patriot Act. These were struck down after the FBI wrongfully used the provision to arrest Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield on suspicions that he had been involved in the 2004 Madrid train bombings.