Successive Blows To Patriot Act Slam 'Big Brother' Government
Lancaster,PA: 10/01/07 The Constitution Party (www.constitutionparty.com) joins liberty-loving Americans across the political spectrum in applauding another recent decision declaring portions of the USA Patriot Act to be unconstitutional.
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that two provisions of the Patriot Act were unlawful because they allowed search warrants to be issued without showing probable cause.
U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, "now permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance of Americans in violation of the 4th Amendment."
The case that leads to this ruling centered around the botched FBI investigation of Portland, Oregon attorney Brandon Mayfield (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003905730_webpatact26.html). During the case Mayfield's home and office were searched, his phone calls were monitored and he was wrongfully jailed on charges he took part in a bombing in Madrid. The FBI ultimately apologized for linking Mayfield to the attack. The case gained international attention as a huge embarrassment to the Bush administration.
"For over 200 years, this nation has adhered to the rule of law - with unparalleled success. A shift to a nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited," Judge Aiken wrote.
"The Patriot Act should never have been enacted in the first place. It passed with both 'Big Box' parties rushing headlong to allow frightening expansions of government power. What happened to Mr.Mayfield could have happened to any other innocent American; and he is an attorney!" said Constitution Party national Committee Chairman Jim Clymer.
The Constitution Party, unlike the Republican or Democratic parties has decried the Draconian Patriot Act which gave law enforcement agencies the power to search telephone and e-mail records in addition to conducting warrantless searches and seizures on American citizens.
Judge Aiken's ruling on the Patriot Act's unconstitutionality comes on the heels of another blow to the Patriot Act. Just weeks ago, another federal judge barred the FBI from snooping on Americans. The federal agency had been requiring companies to turn over computer and phone records. US District Judge Victor Marrero, in New York, said that part of the act was "the legislative equivalent of breaking and entering."
"This latest ruling shows the pendulum may just be swinging back to a time and place when Americans didn't have to fear censorship, secrecy and intimidation from their own government," Clymer further noted, adding "Similarly, the 2008 presidential race will show that our countrymen are tired of electing powerful operatives from both major parties who have forgotten they took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. It appears we have met the enemy and it is by all accounts firmly ensconced in D.C. Americans can continue the momentum of the anti- Patriot Act rulings in November '08. It's high time we vote enemies of the Constitution out of office,"Clymer stated.