Legal changes post-Sept. 11

September 11, 2008
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With today being the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, I couldn’t help but think about how our country has changed in seven years. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I realize now that we aren’t as isolated from the rest of the world as we once thought, that terrorism can happen in America, and that the U.S. we knew before the attacks will never be the same.

One major change came about through Congress as the Patriot Act. President George W. Bush signed it into law in October 2001, and many of the laws introduced then have been made permanent.

The argument and rush to pass the act was it would make America safer. Giving the government more policing powers, the ability to search private records without having to show a judge that a crime may have been committed, easier access to monitor phone and e-mail communications, and gather information about people, among other powers, were necessary to protect the U.S. from future attacks and find terrorists before they can strike.

My question is one I’m sure many people have had regarding the Patriot Act – is it worth impeding on people’s freedoms and constitutional rights to try to protect our country? Is it OK for the government to obtain personal information without the approval of a judge as long as it’s in the best interest of our country’s safety?

It may be a question that’s hard to answer. Can I say for sure that the Patriot Act has prevented any more attacks? No. But I also can’t say it may not have contributed to keeping Americans safe.
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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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