Remember back in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected President? Democrats promised that a President Obama would put a stop to George W. Bush’s attacks on Americans’ constitutional rights, because Obama once taught a class in constitutional law.
Things didn’t work out so neatly. Barack Obama has delayed appointing members to the oversight board that’s supposed to prevent constitutional abuses of government surveillance, and has pushed to extend, without reform, both the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act, which have create a regime extreme and unreasonable search and seizure of extremely personal information about the private activities of law-abiding Americans.
Today, Barack Obama is trying to make this bad situation even worse. Obama has sent lawyers from the Department of Justice to argue in court that the federal government should have the right to place GPS tracking devices on the cars of as many Americans as it wants, without getting a search warrant, without proving that there is any reasonable cause to believe that the people it tracks are involved in criminal activity.
President Obama claims that Americans don’t expect to be free from government surveillance through computerized tracking of everywhere they drive in their cars.
ACLU attorney Catherine Crump sees things differently. She explains, “Given how easy and inexpensive it is to track a suspect using GPS, neither cost nor effort will stop the government from using it in cases where it isn’t reasonable. The courts must impose strict limitations on the use of this technology in order to protect the right of all Americans to go about their daily lives without being tracked by the government.”
The 4th Amendment to the Constitution sets a clear standard: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Democratic voters, did you really elect Barack Obama so that he would fight against your constitutional rights? Is this what you wanted from the Obama Administration?