So Much for the 4th Amendment

Submitted by kvaughn on Thu, 07/25/2013 - 14:13

Yesterday, the house voted on an amendment proposed by Justin Amash to uphold the 4th Amendment by stopping the NSA's unfettered spying on American citizens.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

We now know that the NSA is capturing virtually all electronic communications, including the content of e-mails, phone calls, web searches, credit card transactions, etc. Of course, the NSA continues to confuse people by saying that they are not "collecting" this data, they have already admitted that in their terminology (a.k.a., newspeak) collecting only happens after data has been "received for use by an employee." In other words, they can still capture ALL data (what they call the haystack), store it on a server, and automatically filter this data to highlight anything that they deem suspicious. And once they have found anything remotely suspicious - such as you exchanging an e-mail with a friend of a friend of a friend of a person of interest - they can get a warrant from teh FISA court, a request that only gets rejected 0.03% of the time.

Justin Amash wants to stop this abuse and to respect the Constitution, but the majority of Congress disagrees. His amendment failed 205-217. Democrats, on the whole, voted for the amendment 111-83, while Republicans opposed by a disgracing 94-134.

A quick rundown how various Congressman voted:

"Aye" - uphold the 4th Amendment and stop the spying

  • Amash - R (MI)
  • Barton - R (TX)
  • Chaffetz - R (UT)
  • Connolly - D (VA)
  • Doggett - D (TX)
  • Green, Gene - D (TX)
  • Griffith - R (VA)
  • Moran - D (VA)
  • Poe - R (TX)
  • Scott - D (VA)
  • Stockman - R (TX)
  • Waters - D (CA)
  • Waxman - D (CA)

"No" - Let the NSA continue warrantless spying

  • Bachmann - R (MN)
  • Boehner - R (OH)
  • Brady - R (TX)
  • Cantor - R (VA)
  • Castro - D (TX)
  • Culberson - R (TX)
  • Forbes - R (VA)
  • Goodlatte - R (VA)
  • Green, Alan - D (TX)
  • Hunter - R (CA)
  • Hurt - R (VA)
  • Issa - R (CA)
  • Jackson Lee - D (TX)
  • Olson - R (TX)
  • Pelosi - D
  • Rigell - R (VA)
  • Ryan - R (WI)
  • Sessions - R (TX)
  • Smith - R (TX)
  • Wittman - R (VA)
  • Wolf - R (VA)
  • Womack - R (AR)

All of those voting no have violated their pledge to uphold the Constitution and need to be removed in the next election.

The full vote is listed here.