Operation Choke Point: Choking the life out of the Constitution?

End Operation Choke PointOperation Choke Point is an initiative launched by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice in 2013 meant to use banks and financial institutions to track down companies suspected of illegal activities. However, it does so without due process—a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure—an idea favored by Republicans. Besides the Fourth Amendment violation, OCP also poses a direct threat to the Second Amendment because it gives the federal government the power to shut down legal guns and ammo dealers, a concern that recently became a reality.

Breitbart News recently reported about the owner of a gun store in Hawkins, WI. who received word from the credit union that handled his banking that they would be shutting down his accounts. The reason? Because “they do not service businesses that deal in guns.” This episode was confirmed in a series of audiotapes published by the US Consumer Coalition, in which a bank teller was recorded telling a gun dealer why his account was being shut down.

Serious stuff! But it gets worse. We have now learned that the Obama administration’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is threatening banks, demanding their silence about the new programs it is using to supervise and investigate private bank account holders. And it’s legal! Under provisions contained in the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB possesses vast powers to enforce this type of information suppression.

In a Obama’s world, you advocate for the right of marijuana dealers to have a bank account. At the same time you push for shutting down the accounts, and subsequently the businesses, merchants whose only “crime” is that they belive in the Constitution.

And in the worlds of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, who recently failed to roll back Dodd-Frank, Obama will get away with ignoring the Constitution once again.

UPDATE: While preparing this post, an announcement by the FDIC appears to indicate that there has been a change of heart by the DOJ concerning OCP. Since it doesn’t actually eliminate the plan, I’m skeptical, but here’s a Washington Post story with the details.