Despite a recent ruling by a federal court that the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program was both unconstitutional and illegal, on Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Committee passed two bills that would approve the program and condone the president’s disregard for the rule of law.

On a party-line vote of 10 to 8, the committee approved S.2453, the “National Security Surveillance Act,
The Republican majority on the committee rejected several attempts by Democratic members to pass amendments that would bring the Cheney-Specter bill in line with the Constitution.  Senators also passed – on another party-line vote – Senator Mike DeWine’s (R-Ohio) “Terrorist Surveillance Program Act of 2006