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FROM THIS EPISODE

Two years ago revelations about National Security surveillance of Americans created a national uproar. Now the authority to collect bulk telephone records is about to expire. Congress is divided between concern for national security and civil liberties. Are most Americans really concerned about their possible loss of privacy? 

Also, the first African-American woman is sworn in as Attorney General, and the swing vote on same-sex marriage at the US Supreme Court. 

Photo: Electronic Frontier Foundation

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Sasa Woodruff
Evan George

First African-American Woman Sworn In as Attorney General 6 MIN, 30 SEC

More than 160 days since she was confirmed by the Senate, Loretta Lynch was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden today as the first African-American woman to serve as Attorney General of the United States.

Seung Min Kim reports on the Justice Department for Politico.

Guests:
Seung Min Kim, Politico (@seungminkim)

More:
Lynch's remarks at swearing-in ceremony

How Much Surveillance Will Americans Tolerate? 32 MIN, 48 SEC

Section 215 of the Patriot Act expires at the end of next month. It authorizes the bulk collection of American telephone records by the National Security Agency — part of what was revealed by Edward Snowden two years ago. President Obama says it's not really needed to keep America safe and that he's willing to let it expire. But Congress is divided. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants it renewed, a House Committee wants it amended to require the NSA to take court action before collecting some information. With time for action running short, do most Americans understand what's at stake for their privacy? Do they really care?

Guests:
Damian Paletta, Wall Street Journal (@damianpaletta)
Jameel Jaffer, ACLU (@JameelJaffer)
Daniel Gallington, George C. Marshall Institute (@Marshall_Instit)
Robert Scheer, Host, 'Scheer Intelligence' (@Robert_Scheer)

More:
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) assessment of the Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act
ACLU call for allowing the Patriot Act to expire
Director of National Intelligence's 2015 report on signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection activities
Stewart Baker on why the House information-sharing bill could actually deter information sharing

Justice Anthony Kennedy and Gay Rights Decisions 10 MIN, 13 SEC

There's a long line forming outside the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill — mostly people paid to stand there until tomorrow, when the justices will hear arguments on same-sex marriage. After tomorrow's arguments, the Court's majority on same-sex marriage is likely to be determined by Justice Anthony Kennedy. He's “been building toward this moment in the history of gay legal rights in America…for nearly two decades.” That's according to Joan Biskupic, editor in charge of legal affairs for Reuters and author of the recent book, Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice.

Guests:
Joan Biskupic, Reuters (@JoanBiskupic)

More:
Romer v. Evans (1996)
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
United States v. Windsor (2013)

Breaking In

Joan Biskupic

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