Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Saving John Doe

A bipartisan coalition in the House and Senate is pushing legislation to protect Americans from being sued for reporting to authorities suspicious activity that may lead to a terrorist attack.
"If you see something, you should say something, and not have to worry about being sued," said Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican.
The measure was introduced in the Senate late Friday and is sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with Mr. Kyl and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the panel's ranking Republican.
"Since 2001, when we were struck on our own shores by Islamist terrorists, the idea has taken hold that everyone needs to be alert to possible terrorist incidents," said Mr. Lieberman, a member of the Democratic caucus.
The legislation will give immunity from civil lawsuits in federal and state courts to citizens who report suspicious activity to appropriate law-enforcement and transport- ation-system officials. The bill would not protect individuals who knowingly make false statements.
A House version introduced yesterday is sponsored by Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican; Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee; and Rep. Bill Shuster, Pennsylvania Republican.

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