Essay on The Constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act

Essay on The Constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act

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The Constitutionality of the USA PATRIOT Act

One of America’s founding father said that “those who surrender freedom for security

will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Benjamin Franklin’s belief is especially relevant

today, following the introduction a Big Brother-like Act of Congress, the USA Patriot Act. In

such a case, which employs draconian methods to stop terrorists, an important question must be

asked: Should we give up our constitutional rights to facilitate the prosecution of terrorists? I

believe that the USA Patriot Act is an ineffective tool to combat terrorism because it legalises a

series of unconstitutional provisions used to combat terrorism. The Patriot Act is not

constitutionally sound because it promotes surveillance programs, strengthens the use of

National Security Letters and violates the moral code set by the Constitution.

What is the Patriot Act?

The USA Patriot Act was signed into law on October 26th, 2001 as a result of the

September 11, 2001 attacks. The act’s title stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by

Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (“What Is The USA

Patriot”). The act consists of 10 titles, which share the common goal of preventing and

punishing future terrorist attacks. The implemented provisions range from providing victims

financial compensation to obtaining otherwise confidential information.

President Bush originally signed the act in 2001, and President Obama later renewed

important clauses that were set to “sunset”, or expire, in 2005 and once again in 2010

(Grabianowski, “How The Patriot Act Works”). The clauses that were going to sunset were the

ability to use roving wiretaps, to share for...


... middle of paper ...


... and Li Hung. The Patriot Act issues and controversies. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas

Publisher, 2010. Print.

10. Swann, Ben. "Reality Check: Has the Patriot Act thwarted 42 terror attacks? - FOX19.com-Cincinnati News,

Weather & Sports." Cincinnati & N. KY news, weather & sports from FOX19 WXIX - FOX19.com-Cincinnati News,

Weather & Sports. N.p., 7 Dec. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. check-patriot-act-part-1-has-the-patriot-act-thwarted-42-terror-attacks>.

11. Temple-Raston, Dina. "Terrorism Case Shows Range Of Investigators' Tools." NPR. NPR, 3 Oct. 2009. Web. 16

Nov. 2013. .

12. "What is the USA Patriot Web." Welcome to the United States Department of Justice. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct.

2013. .

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