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Sensenbrenner slights Congress research report criticizing domestic surveillance

[JURIST] Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) [official website], chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, has complained of bias in a recent report of the Congressional Research Service [official website] on the NSA domestic spying program [JURIST news archive]. In a letter [PDF text] written last week he said that a CRS study [PDF] released in early January suggesting that the legal justification for the program was not "well-grounded" [JURIST report] was "based on an incomplete analysis of the law" and noted that members of Congress "rely on CRS to provide objective analysis of legislation and legal matters."

Sensenbrenner has asked CRS to respond by February 20 to alternative reports by two conservative experts. Robert Alt [faculty profile], a fellow in legal and international affairs at Ashland University, said [PDF] of the original CRS study that it "read like a brief. It had some of the same marks as something an advocate might distribute." John Eastman [faculty profile], a professor of law and director of the Claremont Institute at Chapman University pointed out [PDF] that CRS works for the legislative branch and that "a truly neutral assessment of the contending constitutional positions is in order." The Hill has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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