The sponsor of a federal postal reform law has asked President Bush to explain why he used it to claim he can open domestic mail without a search warrant, reports the New York Daily News. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) questioned Bush’s controversial Dec. 20 signing statement in which he stated that in an emergency, he wouldn’t need a warrant to open letters. The law requires search warrants for mail.
In signing the bipartisan postal reform law, Bush asserted that it gave him the right to order warrantless mail searches in “exigent circumstances,” meaning emergencies, and for foreign intelligence purposes. Questioning the claim were civil libertarians, law enforcement agents and lawmakers. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called it a “last-minute, irregular and unauthorized reinterpretation of a duly passed law.”