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Rep. Amash: House GOP Leaders Push Unconstitutional Bill to Abolish Due Process

July 6, 2016

Neil W. McCabe


Source …..


A libertarian-leaning Republican from Michigan is speaking out against H.R. 5611, a bill, “To prevent terrorists from launching attacks and obtaining passports, and for other purposes,” which he says does away with legal protections of “due process” and “probable causes.”

“I can’t believe that on Independence Day I have to warn people about an unconstitutional GOP gun control bill. Wait—yes, I can. #StopHR5611,” tweeted Rep. Justin Amash.

The series of tweets say the bill, backed by Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-CA.). It would create a new office of Office for Partnerships to Prevent Terrorism at the Department of Homeland Security tasked with, in part, passing out $10 million in grants to the Muslim community through September 2021.

Capitol Hill conservatives are troubled by this office and grant program because it would expand the participation in national security and law enforcement of Muslim community leaders, who have in the past blunted or deflected investigations. The bill, written by the House Republican leadership, also accepts Obama administration language, “violent extremism,” which is general enough to include organizations and individuals, who opposed to a strong federal government and or government policies combined with a support for restoring gun rights.

Ryan held a conference call June 30 to tell members of the House Republican Conference that he was giving Democrats the opportunity to vote on a No-Fly-No-Buy bill in the previous week.

The Ryan-McCarthy bill empowers the Attorney General to block a transfer of a gun or explosive–not just a purchase–to an individual, who had been known to be or suspected of being a terrorist in the previous five years–which is undefined in the legislation.

Once the Attorney General blocks the transfer, the individual is to be notified and allowed right of counsel. If within three days, the Department of Justice is unable to prove that the “prospective transferee” has committed, conspired to commit, or attempted to commit an act of terrorism, the individual is to be reimbursed legal fees.

The innovation, codified in the House Republican leadership’s bill, is that a constitutionally protected right could be suspended simply by a federal government employee typing a name into the Terrorist Screening Database. The requirements for having a name entered into the database are classified, along with the list of names itself, which would have to be declassified into to block the transfer of a gun or explosive. The situation creates the potential circumstances, where an Attorney General declines to block a transfer to an actual terrorist because it would trigger a notification to the terrorist that his name is on the list. Certainly, the more serious the terrorist, the more likely the transfer would not be blocked, rendering the legislation absurd.

The sections of the legislation regarding gun rights are what spun up Amash:

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