A fight is looming in the U.S. Senate as lawmakers prepare to debate renewing the Patriot Act.

Supporters say an extension of the controversial law is necessary to keep the country safe, while opponents claim that provisions such as the National Security Agency’s anti-terrorism surveillance program are unconstitutional.

Judge Andrew Napolitano said on "America's Newsroom" today that the debate centers on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes the government to collect personal records without a warrant.

"Section 215 has been found unlawful by a federal court, meaning the wording of 215 does not justify what the government claims it can do from it," Judge Napolitano said.

He explained that the House of Representatives, in response to this federal court ruling, passed a modified Patriot Act called the USA Freedom Act, which mandates that the government can get the information it wants, but private telecom companies keep the records as opposed to the government.

Judge Napolitano pointed out that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) supports renewing the Patriot Act provisions, including Section 215. But he lacks the necessary votes, which sets up a fight in the Senate.

"He's running against the clock because next week the Congress is off. When they come back, the Patriot Act will have expired," Judge Napolitano said, explaining that McConnell is likely going to propose extending the Patriot Act by a week or a month until they can work something out.

"He really is on the horns of a dilemma ... he's got three days at best to work this out."

Watch more above.


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