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How Congress Has Assaulted Our Freedoms in the Patriot Act

November 29, 2011
Judge Andrew Napolitano
11/26/2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: At the recent GOP debate on CNN, the Patriot Act was the lead subject. Newt Gingrich told viewers that the act wasn’t strong enough. Herman Cain was willing to get rid of some it, but wasn’t willing to “throw the baby out with the bath water.” Candidate after candidate referred to the Patriot Act as good, neceesary, and something they would most-certainly be in favor of keeping, or strengthening. Ron Paul was the only candidate with the courage to say that the Patriot Act is both a violation of liberty and the constitution. Reinforcing this correct view – we present the following column on the Patriot Act, written by Judge Andrew Napolitano on December 16, 2005.

Congress once respected the Fourth Amendment until it began cutting holes in it. Before Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1977, Americans and even non-citizens physically present here enjoyed the right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. That Amendment, which was written out of a revulsion to warrants that let British soldiers look for any tangible thing anywhere they chose, specifically requires that the government demonstrate to a judge and the judge specifically find the existence of probable cause of criminal activity on the part of the person whose property the government wishes to search. The Fourth Amendment commands that only a judge can authorize a search warrant.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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