Search and seizure heroes and zeroes
July 25, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement on the defeat of the Amash amendment that would have defunded the NSA domestic spying program in the House of Representatives:
"The NSA domestic surveillance program on every American was very nearly defunded in a narrow vote in the House, with a mere seven vote swing deciding its fate. Despite the disappointing outcome, the narrow margin is very good news for the American people, for now they have a political problem that can be dealt with via elections.
"The 205 representatives of both parties that voted to stop the spying program voted to uphold the Fourth Amendment and the original intent of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which never authorized blanket, suspicionless surveillance of every single American.
"The 217 representatives who voted to defeat the Amash amendment have upheld the indiscriminate collection of phone and email records on everyone — just in case intelligence agencies might need that information later. This was a vote against the Fourth Amendment that protects against unreasonable searches and requires that warrants only issue but upon probable cause. To suggest the American people have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their phone and digital records against searches when no crime has been committed is to suggest that the Fourth Amendment no longer applies.
"The fact is, the government's interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act does something that has never been done before — which is assert that because you might commit a crime or engage in terrorism, you can be subjected to a search. Every case of searches of third party vendors' phone and bank records were all relevant to investigations into specific persons regarding specific crimes. These are just general warrants searching everything and everyone. Every member who voted in favor of the surveillance state being built must now explain to their constituents what other freedoms they're willing to sacrifice on this altar of false security."
Yeas and Noes on Amash amendment by party, by state, The Associated Press, July 24, 2013 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/24/amash-amendment-roll-call-vote_n_3648737.html
"Amash loses battle but could still win the war on domestic surveillance," By ALG senior editor Robert Romano, July 25, 2013 at http://netrightdaily.com/2013/07/amash-loses-battle-but-could-still-win-the-war-on-domestic-surveillance/
Americans for Limited Government is a non-partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please visit our website at www.GetLiberty.org.