I believe strongly that the U.S. Constitution provides citizens and the states with certain protections from federal intrusion, and have used this belief as the basis for many of my decisions as a representative to the U.S. Congress. Free speech rights, the right to bear Arms, the protections from warrantless searches and seizures by the government all must be protected, not just by U.S. courts, but by all representatives of the government.
The Patriot Act put a tremendous amount of effort into protecting our homeland from terrorists. With these new protections came a number of new policies that were seen by some as an infringement on our civil rights. The Patriot Act gave law enforcement authorities and the intelligence community the flexibility they need to pursue terrorists and bring them to justice. It was intended to do so while continuing to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens. The Patriot Act allows law enforcement to use many of the same tools that have been used to fight organized crime and drug dealers to fight terrorists. Specifically, the Patriot Act allows law enforcement to conduct surveillance against more crimes of terror, such as the use of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, allows Federal agents to follow sophisticated terrorists trained to evade detection, and allows law enforcement to conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists.
With regards to eminent domain, our Fifth Amendment rights are stated clearly in the Constitution - private property cannot be taken for public use, without just compensation.
As with any other issue of concern to you and your family, I hope you will take the time to let me know how you feel about this issue. To find the best means to contact me, click here.
Committee on the Judiciary
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Department of Homeland Security
Public Safety and Law at firstgov.gov
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