Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
January 3, 2014
Not every federal lawmaker is content to step aside and watch impotently as the executive branch erects a prison state with citizens as suspects and subject to constant surveillance.
In a recent New York Times op-ed, Senators Ron Wyden (left, D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (right, D-Colo.) call for an immediate end to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) dragnet collection of the phone records of Americans. In the opening paragraph, the senators explain the basis of their opposition to this unconstitutional program:
[The] framers of the Constitution declared that government officials had no power to seize the records of individual Americans without evidence of wrongdoing, and they embedded this principle in the Fourth Amendment. The bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records — so-called metadata — by the National Security Agency is, in our view, a clear case of a general warrant that violates the spirit of the framers’ intentions. This intrusive program was authorized under a secret legal process by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, so for years American citizens did not have the knowledge needed to challenge the infringement of their privacy rights.