When former Speaker of the House John Boehner—whom Amash helped push out of his leadership role last fall—used to preside over “pro forma” sessions during which most members were away from Washington, the libertarian-leaning congressman would always attend, just to make sure Boehner didn’t try to sneak a voice-vote extension of the PATRIOT Act. “Trust but verify,” the Michigan maverick would say, quoting Ronald Reagan’s famous line about the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons negotiations. Yes, Amash speaks of his own party the way Reagan spoke of the Russkies….

Via The Last Honest Man in Congress @

No Duty 

Article II, Section 2 does not lay out any specific procedure by which the Senate can refuse its consent. It does not indicate whether it must do so by taking a vote, or whether it can simply refuse to consider the president’s nominee at all. However, Article I, Section 5 states that “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.” That power includes the rules for considering judicial nominations, as well as all other Senate business. Thus, so long as the Senate has established rules that allow it

Via The Constitution does not require the Senate to give judicial nominees an up or down vote @  Washington Post Volokh Conspiracy.

Slipping away

“But, the bigger surprise: even with a deadline looming, warnings of impending doom from surveillance justifiers, and pressure from Senate leadership, the extension received less support than the reform bill. In other words, more senators believe that the prospect of completely losing some surveillance authority is less damaging than allowing the government to continue its…

The Patriot Act Balance of Power

“If Section 215 sunsets, pro-reform advocates will have  more leverage to push for stronger surveillance reforms than those currently on the table, because the new status quo will tip more in favor of those who oppose mass surveillance under the Patriot Act. However, they will have to strongly push back against fearmongering from anti-reformists and…

Although millions of Americans see racial bias in criminal justice, Congressmen are among the least likely to think so

Large numbers of Americans see racial bias in our country’s criminal justice system: The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 44 percent of Americans believe the criminal justice system in the United States treats white Americans more fairly than black and Hispanic Americans. Another 45 percent believe the system treats all racial groups the same, 6 percent think the…

Amash Wins in Michigan: Pro-Market Defeats Pro-Business Insider

Liberty-respecting Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan defeated a primary challenger put up by so-called business interests and other party insiders: The Liberterian-minded Amash on Tuesday, Aug. 5, soundly beat Ellis, who billed himself as sort of the “anti-Amash” candidate for votes he considered out of touch with Third District voters. Countless endorsements, including the Grand…