April 4, 2005

TO:
  The Honorable Larry E. Craig
The Honorable Richard J. Durbin
FROM:
  Kay J. Maxwell, President
RE:
  SAFE Act of 2005

The League of Women Voters of the United States is pleased to endorse the Security and Freedom Enhancement (SAFE) Act of 2005. We greatly appreciate your leadership in introducing this legislation that addresses some of the most problematic provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.

For the past 85 years, members of the League have been steadfast in their conviction that the need to protect against security threats to America must be balanced with the need to preserve the very liberties that are the foundation of this country. There are fundamental principles that guard our liberty – from independent judicial review of law enforcement actions to prohibitions on indiscriminate searches – that must be preserved.

By placing limits on “sneak and peek” searches and “John Doe” roving wiretaps and requiring increased public recording of the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the SAFE Act would provide reasonable checks on some of the most extreme sections of the USA PATRIOT Act.

The League of Women Voters believes that the SAFE Act would preserve broad authority for law enforcement officials to combat terrorism. At the same time, it would protect innocent Americans from unrestricted government surveillance. We look forward to working with you to pass the SAFE Act.