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After a week of fierce debate, the Senate passed landmark legislation Tuesday, signaling the end of an era of widespread domestic surveillance that began in the fearful weeks after 9/11.

The USA Freedom Bill, if fully and correctly implemented, will end the NSA’s indiscriminate collection of bulk telephone data — an extremely controversial surveillance program that was brought widely to light by Edward Snowden’s disclosures in 2013.

The House of Representatives has already passed the measure, which AFP reports will also reauthorize key national security programs that had been allowed to lapse earlier this week. The bill will now go to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

“This is the first time since 9/11 that Congress has agreed to roll back the extraordinary authorities that were enacted in the wake of the attacks,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) called the bill’s passage “the most significant victory for Americans’ privacy rights in more than a decade, and stands as a true endorsement of the principle that Americans do not need to sacrifice their liberty to have security.”

Photo: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) answers questions with Sen. John Cornyn at the U.S. Capitol, June 2, 2015 in Washington, DC.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Roe V. Wade being overturned can impact midterm elections

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The fate of abortion rights is now in the hands of voters after the Supreme Court on Friday overturned decades of settled precedent in its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that abortion is not a right under the U.S. Constitution.

Now that state legislatures are able to pass bills that restrict abortion, the outcome of elections for governors, attorneys general, and state lawmakers will determine whether abortion remains legal and how draconian bans will be.

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