Congress Pauses Temporarily in its Anti-Freedom Rampage
ACLU Applauds House Committee Members For Stopping Attack on Civil Liberties
If you have not already seen it, Fred Foldvary's editorial from yesterday, Don't Do It, Don't Say It, Don't Think It , concerned some terrible human rights violations by state and federal governments. Now the House of Representatives has scaled back some of the newest anti-Constitution abuses that it was planning to perpetrate against U.S. citizens. Here is an update on this, courtesy of the ACLU.
WASHINGTON -- In a victory for privacy and free speech rights, the House Judiciary Committee adopted a drug bill that was swept clean of its most troubling civil liberties proposals, including both a secret "black bag" searches provision and an Internet censorship measure.
"The Judiciary Committee today bravely withstood pressure to expand some of the worst elements of the so-called war on drugs," said Marvin Johnson, a Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington National Office.
Over the last several months, proponents of the bill -- known as the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act, (HR 2987) -- have steadily dropped some of its most controversial pieces, including a provision that would have made it illegal for news websites to link to webpages about topics like medical marijuana and hemp production by threatening them with jail time.
Another provision that was removed would have forced Internet Service Providers to remove users' web pages without due process on the basis of mere allegations by the government.
In a display of extraordinary bipartisan cooperation, the committee passed an amendment offered by Representatives Bob Barr (R-GA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that stopped the government from criminalizing speech that might contradicts its "war on drugs" propaganda.
The ACLU expressed disappointment that the bill still included a provision that would create new federal drug offenses, ignoring calls to halt the federalization of crime from across the political spectrum, including Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Representative Maxine Waters.
"...some members of Congress appear to be saying that no cost is too high when it comes to cultivating a tough on crime image," said Rachel King, an ACLU Legislative Counsel.
What's your opinion on the so-called drug war and the U.S. Constitution? Tell your views to The Progress Report:
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