While the country was being treated to a mega-dose of tweets proclaiming Trump’s “genius” over the weekend, so-called conservatives (i.e. Trumplicans) in the House of Representatives were making plans to hold a vote on a bill that will void the Fourth Amendment rights of every American.
Scheduled for this week, the House Rules Committee will meet to consider a bill re-authorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which, according to Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) “allows the government to conduct warrantless searches on Americans and maintain massive troves of our data.”
Section 702 of FISA allows the government to conduct warrantless searches on Americans and maintain massive troves of our data—but it is about to expire. Congress now has 15 days to decide whether to protect the #4thAmendment or let the government continue to eviscerate it.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 4, 2018
It’s official—House leadership is trying to reauthorize #FISA702 for SIX YEARS without the reforms necessary to satisfy the #4thAmendment. Here’s the anti-liberty, anti-privacy bill we’ll be voting on next week, #S139: https://t.co/257AFdF6Ox. https://t.co/nQFlLsdia3
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 6, 2018
FISA originated during the Cold War and was used to gather foreign intelligence information. However, since 9/11, it has become a tool of government to spy on anyone anytime anywhere. This has resulted in numerous abuses by government agencies such as the NSA and led to the passage of the USA Freedom Act, a law designed to reign in the government’s blatant abuse of power.
While progressives in both parties have worked to expand Big Brother’s control, current members of the GOP have shown a frightening willingness lately to shred the Constitution in the name of safety and security.
For instance, in July 2016, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced the Homeland Safety and Security Act (H.R.5611). Though never passed, this was an attempt to create a division within the Department of Homeland Security straight out of the movie Minority Report and was designed to deny the Second Amendment rights of Americans based on a prediction that a person might someday be a terrorist.
#HR5611 allows govt to infringe your gun rights w/o charge, trial, or conviction—based merely on prediction you'll someday be a terrorist.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) July 5, 2016
Another example can be found by one of the House’s biggest fans of warrantless electronic spying on Americans, Rep. Pete King (R-NY), who as recently as December 2017 called for a return to NSA-styled data gathering following the pipe bombing of The New York Port Authority bus terminal in New York City.
Some in the GOP are claiming that protections for our Fourth Amendment rights have been added to the bill reauthorizing FISA 702 by giving oversight powers to the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. However, according to the Patrick G. Eddington of the CATO Institute, this fails to protect our rights and gives these two individuals the power to make up the rules as they go along while holding no regard to the Constitution.
As a president who wants his own private global spy network and who has instituted policies expanding civil asset forfeiture laws, thus denying Americans their “due process” rights (Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments), Trump isn’t likely to have any problems signing FISA 702 into law if passed by Congress.
When people want to know why I don’t support Trump and the GOP, it’s because they don’t support the Constitution. And that’s exactly why I support the Federalist Party and the Article V Convention of States.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically incorrect and always “right.” His columns are featured on RedState.com, NOQReport.com, and TheResurgent.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.