The Constitutionality of the Patriot Act Essay

The Constitutionality of the Patriot Act Essay

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Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Americans fear that another attack is imminent. To ease these fears, lawmakers created the USA Patriot Act which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. This lengthy bill allows the justice department a great deal of power in criminal cases especially in those dealing with terrorism. While, according to lawmakers, the Patriot Act is aimed at ending terrorism, it is arguable that the Patriot Act is aimed at beginning a Big Brother-type society. For the government of the United States to enforce a law that encourages the obstruction of the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments and other civil liberties is highly hypocritical and quite un-American.
The documentary Unconstitutional, directed by Nonny de la Pena, follows the evolution of the Patriot Act with interviews from senators who passed the bill, lawyers fighting the bill, and residents of the United States who have come under attack because of the bill. One of the positive points of the act that many like to point out was the bi-partisan support it had. However, former Representative Robert Barr, a republican from Georgia, and Representative Peter A. DeFazio, a democrat from Oregon, both claim that the act was very different from the one that was voted on. The night before the bill was to be voted on it was changed last minute and printed at 3:45 am that morning. The new bill included provisions that had already been denied on the floor. �No member of Congress read this legislation before us voting on it,� says DeFazio (Unconstitutional). Lawmakers passed a bill that they had not read and now the public is paying for it.
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...http://galileo.usg.edu>.
Losely, Lauren E. �Universities Express Concern About the USA Patriot Act.� Academe Sep/Oct 2004: 4. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOHost. GALILEO. Odum Lib., Valdosta State University, GA. 10 April 2005 .
�Patriot Act Overview.� Congressional Digest Nov. 2004:258-88.
�Patriot Games.� Current Events 17 October 2003.
Ridge, Tom. �Using the PATRIOT Act to Fight Terrorism.� Congressional Digest Nov. 2004: 266-68.
Sekhon,Vijay. �The Civil Rights of �Others�: Antiterrorism, The Patriot Act, and Arab and South Asian American Rights in Post-9/11 American Society.� Texas Forum on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights 8.1 (2003): 117-148.
Unconstitutional. Dir. Nonny de la Pena. Public Interest Pictures, 2004.
Zeljak, Cathy. �The USA Patriot Act and Civil Liberties (Part II).� Problems of Post-Communism 51.3 (2004): 69-71.

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