The Unpatriotic Patriot ActSubmitted by Ty_bow95 on Wed, 05/16/2012 - 10:34
This is a research paper I had to do for an English class. We had to pick a law and either support or oppose it, so I picked the Patriot Act. One of the sources I used the most was our very own Dr. Paul :) let me know what you think!
The Unpatriotic Patriot Act
The law of the land in the United States has been violated, the Constitution. Every year, hundreds of bills are passed through Congress. However, some of these newly-made laws violate the Constitution. One of these is the US Patriot Act. The US Patriot Act needs to be repealed in Congress because not only does it limit the freedoms of the American people, but it is also highly unconstitutional because it essentially eliminates a good portion of our Bill of Rights, which is a reason why many senators, congressmen, and other politicians do not support the US Patriot Act.
The most important reason that the US Patriot Act needs to be repealed is because it is not constitutional. First, the US Patriot Act goes against our 4th amendment, practically eliminating it from the constitution. An organization called the CCAPA (Concerned Citizens Against the Patriot Act) compared the US Patriot Act to the Constitution and found that the Patriot Act directly contradicted the 4th amendment. (“Patriot Act Vs. Constitution”) This is a big deal because it is directly going against the written, expressed law of the United States. The US Patriot Act also goes against many other amendments, including the 1st and 6th. The same study done by the CCAPA also showed that the 1st and 6th amendments have been violated by the Patriot Act. (“Patriot Act Vs. Constitution”) Since this is the case, the US Patriot Act is extremely unconstitutional and should not belong in law of the United States. Not only is the fact that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional bad enough, but it also limits the rights and liberties of the citizens.
Another very important reason that the US Patriot Act needs to be repealed is because it undermines the freedoms of the American people. First, as the study by CCAPA showed, the 1st amendment has been violated. (“Patriot Act Vs. Constitution”) Under the Patriot Act, the government can prosecute any librarian or keeper of records if they tell anyone that the government used their information for a terrorist investigation. Even though the 1st amendment clearly states ‘Congress shall make no law … or abridging the freedom of speech…’, the US Patriot Act does just that. Second, the study also shows that the 4th amendment has been violated. (“Patriot Act Vs. Constitution”) The Patriot Act essentially says that the government can search and seize American’s information, documents, phone conversations, or anything that might help them get a lead on a terrorist investigation without any warrant. This contradicts the 4th amendment which protects Americans against unwarranted searches, which is what these searches by the government are. Third and most notably, the Patriot Act highly undermines the 6th amendment. Under the Patriot Act, any American citizen can be arrested, refused an attorney, and sent to jail indefinitely without trial. And if the government decides to allow a citizen an attorney, they can monitor the conversations between the accused and the attorney and still decide to refuse a lawyer to the accused. (“Patriot Act Vs. Constitution”) This goes against the Constitution, which gives us the right to a ‘quick and speedy trial’, the right to legal representation, and the right to liberty. Since the Patriot Act takes away so many liberties from the American people, many politicians oppose it.
The final most important reason the US Patriot Act needs to be repealed is because it is already highly opposed by many of today’s politicians. In a recent 2012 GOP Primary Debate, the US Patriot Act was brought up as an issue to debate. Congressman Ron Paul opposed it, saying that the Patriot Act ‘is unpatriotic, because it undermines our liberties.’ (“Nystrom”) Congressman Paul went on to bring up Timothy McVeigh, a terrorist who blew up a building in Oklahoma in 1995. The United States did not need any of the ‘tools’ that the Patriotic Act gives them today to prosecute, convicted, and execute McVeigh. (“Mullen”) Former Speaker Newt Gingrich retaliated to Paul, speaking in favor of the Patriot Act, by saying "Timothy McVeigh succeeded. That's the whole point. Timothy McVeigh killed a lot of Americans. I don't want a law that says after we lose a major American city, we're sure going to come and find you. I want a law that says, you try to take out an American city, we're going to stop you." Paul shot back at Gingrich by saying "This is like saying we want a policeman in every house, a camera in every house, because we want to prevent child beating and wife beating. You can prevent crimes by becoming a police state. So, if you advocate the police state, yes, you can have safety and security and you might prevent a crime, but the crime then will be against the American people and against our freedoms and we will throw out so much of what our revolution was fought for. So don't do it so carelessly." (“Mullen”) This is significant because if one of the candidates that were opposing the Patriot Act, such as Ron Paul, were to win the presidency or spread the influence of opposition of the Patriot Act to their supporters, the Patriot Act would have a higher chance of being repealed because the American citizens would become more aware of the fact that their liberties are being undermined. In addition to it being highly debated during the primaries, multiple other politicians have written letters talking about their opposition of the legislation. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, also highly opposes the Patriot Act. In his letter to his constituents, he said that while the Patriot Act was well intended, the legislation failed to address the actual issues and gave the government more powers like unwarranted searches and other unconstitutional powers. ("Rand Paul") Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado has also expressed his opposition to the legislation. In his letter, he asks the Speaker of the House if the government has never actually used the powers granted to them by the Patriot Act, why is it so necessary to continue to reauthorize it? ("Jared Polis") The fact that multiple congressmen and Senators oppose the Patriot Act is extremely significant. 26 congressmen voted against the extension of the Patriot Act in 2011 as opposed to only 3 voting against it in 2001. ("Elspeth Reeve") This shows that there has been increased opposition against the Patriot Act and the government attempting to eliminate the freedoms of the people. This increased support will help to spread awareness to the constituents of the congressmen who oppose it and to other congressmen.
The US Patriot Act needs to be repealed in Congress because its eliminates some liberties of the American people, and is also highly unconstitutional because it erases part of our Bill of Rights, which is a reason why many politicians do not support the US Patriot Act. The main reason the Patriot Act needs to be repealed is because the US Patriot Act is unconstitutional. It also limits the freedoms of the American people. Next, it is a highly debated topic with many politicians opposing it. The Patriot Act has multiple flaws to it in content and the way it impacts people and needs to be repealed NOW.
Bonnevie Computing, LLC. "US Constitution vs. The Patriot Act." Seattle Community Network. Web. 6 Feb. 2012. .
Mullen, Tom. "Is the Patriot Act Unpatriotic?" Peace . Gold . Liberty. 28 Nov. 2012. Web. 23 Jan. 2012. .
Nystrom, Michael. "Ron Paul: Patriot Act "Unpatriotic Because It Undermines Our Liberties"" Peace . Gold . Liberty. Web. 30 Jan. 2012. .
Paul, Rand. "Rand Paul 2010 | U.S. Senate." Senator Rand Paul's Letter of Opposition to the Patriot Act. 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 06 Feb. 2012. .
Polis, Jared. "CONGRESSMAN Jared Polis 2nd DISTRICT OF COLORADO." Opposing Extension of Patriot Act Provisions. 26 May 2011. Web. 30 Jan. 2012. .
Reeve, Elspeth. "Republicans Turn on the Patriot Act." The Atlantic Wire. 9 Feb. 2011. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. .