If you paid attention during history and civics classes in high school, you learned that the U.S. Government cannot search or seize either a person, or his property, or his private effects without a warrant signed by a judge on the basis of probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. That limitation comes from the 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, the Supreme Law of the land, taking precedence over the declarations of any power from police officer to president.
If you’ve been paying attention within the past few year, you’ll be aware that although Barack Obama promised during the primaries to oppose it, after the primaries he turned around and supported the FISA Amendments Act, a bill that’s now law with Obama’s help. The FISA Amendments Act drives right on by the 4th Amendment, allowing government agents to search, seize and spy on people, their offices, their homes, and their communications for more than two months at a time without a warrant.
If you’ve been paying attention during the past month, you’ll know that as President, Barack Obama has moved to quash a lawsuit by people who were spied on without a warrant, trying to deny them the opportunity to present the evidence they have of such activity. According to Barack Obama’s lawyers, any such evidence is a state secret. Yes, you read that right: evidence that the U.S. Government is violating the 4th Amendment to the Constitution is a state secret that must be protected, justice be damned. That’s a direct continuation of Bush Homeland Security policy.
Fortunately, a federal appeals court rejected this Obama-Bush position, declaring that in the United States people’s constitutional rights come first.
Unfortunately, today comes the news that the Obama administration is getting even more draconian than the Bush administration on this issue, threatening to swoop in and take the evidence of unconstitutional spying away from the court if the court won’t change its tune. That would be an executive branch violation of judicial branch authority, yet another blow against the rule of law.
This is not the change I can believe in. This is not the change Barack Obama promised me before the Ohio primaries. This is not the change I voted for.