The Patriot Act: Trampling on the Bill of Rights Essay

The Patriot Act: Trampling on the Bill of Rights Essay

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Several weeks after the horrible terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act was rushed through Congress by Attorney General, John Ashcroft. This particular Act, however, was established with a ruling hand of fear. Life for Americans changed dramatically in those immediate days, weeks, and months after the attack. America had been spoiled with luxury for so long, that the illusion of control had ingrained itself into our very nature as Americans. That act of terror, on September 11, 2001, brought that belief crashing down, almost immediately. Fear and anger were rampant though out America; a dangerous combination when it comes to charging out a Congressional bill. The scariest parts of The USA PATRIOT ACT, in my opinion, are not just the arguably unconstitutional sections proposed in the Act, but the timing and expedition of legislation. To propose a bill that remained indifferent in regards to sacrificing civil liberties for the sake of enhanced security. The Bill was voted in with near unanimity, 98-1 in the Senate and 357-66 in the House of Representatives near after. Considering the margins of the votes, it makes one wonder if anyone in Congress even bothered to read the bill. Perhaps a good portion of our legislators were fearful to look unpatriotic, by objecting a radical bill dubbed The USA PATRIOT Act. As an old phrase goes, the nail that stands-out, gets hammered. The congressional legislative process is supposed to be deliberately slow; ensuring that what is proposed is in fact constitutional. One of the more serious issues with the USA PATRIOT Act, is the ambiguity of crucia...


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...e of the United States. Congressional acts with the means to side-step The Bill of Rights should be amended to protect any rights in question, no matter the current state of affairs. Arguments such as this paper are a crucial means to formulating a variety of perspective. Regardless of a person’s stance on The USA PATRIOT Act, we must take a look back into our history, and make sure we are honoring those who sacrificed so much more than we, for the civil liberties we have been afforded. Americans cannot allow fear to dictate the policies of our country, and should never allow our Congress or President use a National tragedy to proper un-amended, controversial policies. This is the United States of America, we can do better. "Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty." (John Basil Barnhill 1914)

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