The federal government has once again failed to appropriately regulate its own behavior, with an Idaho federal judge ruling in favor of the constitutionality of the NSA’s spying program.
According to a report from the Idaho Spokesman,
U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill, in his eight-page decision issued [on June 3], found that under current U.S. Supreme Court precedents, the NSA’s collection of cell-phone data doesn’t violate the 4th Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches. However, he also noted that another case in Washington, D.C. found otherwise, and it may yet make its way to the higher court; that ruling was stayed pending appeal.”
In this case, the judge cared more about precedent than fidelity to the Constitution. To his credit, he did point to a better decision that was made by a different judge, but he did not have the courage to rebuke the NSA on his own. Instead, he was beholden to the awful decisions of jurists past.
With a few rare exceptions, that is how the system usually works. The judges typically pass the buck to some other guy whenever possible rather than making an important, courageous decision to uphold the Constitution as it was written. The constant erosion of our freedoms has come as a result of this insidious process.
The 4th Amendment was written in very clear, concise language. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,” it reads in part. Only in government land could such an easy-to-read passage be treated like it was a Dead Sea Scroll.
At the Tenth Amendment Center, we believe that the Constitution means what it says. The state-appointed ‘experts’ obfuscate the masses by citing obscure case law to make excuses for excessive government power. We instead point to the words of the Founding Fathers who believed strongly in the principles of decentralization and individual rights. That is why we are working at the state level to fight the NSA, rather than waiting for it to fix its own mess.
Concrete reforms can be achieved more easily at the state level. The push for invasive national ID cards was stalled because of nullification efforts. Marijuana is now legalized for recreational use in two states as well. This has been done in direct contradiction to the will of the feds, and has stunned their apologists who insisted that federal power was ‘supreme.’ The people’s voice is triumphing over the faux-supremacy of Washington D.C. lawmakers.
Our legislative plan denies material support and compliance to the NSA. This doesn’t put the agency out of business, but forces it to get its act together. Without our help, the NSA cannot cool down its massive network of supercomputers. It uses 1.7 million gallons of water per day, provided by a local municipality, for its Utah facility alone. Without state participation, the NSA’s plans literally go up in smoke.
That is why we must put our efforts into achieving reform through the legislative devices, as our Founding Fathers recommended. Leave the federal bureaucrats to their own devices. Circumvent them, act without their approval, defy their dictates, and achieve reforms through the lower levels of government that force them into abiding by the law. That is what the 4th Amendment Protection Act is all about. It is truly our best chance at stopping Big Brother. Join our movement, and help us poke the NSA in its all-seeing eye before it is too late!