Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fourth Amendment in the shredder?

Critical Fourth Amendment rights update.
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Next Monday, politicians in Richmond on a House of Delegates subcommittee will meet to discuss the future of your privacy rights.

Recent revelations have brought to light massive federal government surveillance programs, and Virginia legislators are confronting police practices where they track your car license plate - in violation of the law.  Additionally, the never-ending stories of abuses of citizens by government bureaucrats must be confronted.

From my time as a State Senator to my tenure as Virginia Attorney General, I have always been proud to stand up for the Fourth Amendment and citizens' right to privacy.

In fact, after I left office as Attorney General, I became legal counsel for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and FreedomWork's lawsuit against the Obama administration's illegal NSA spying programs.

Now, I'm proud to support Delegate Rich Anderson's (R-51) efforts to strengthen Fourth Amendment protections here in Virginia.  Del. Anderson has introduced HJ578, a Constitutional Amendment designed to guarantee privacy protections in the digital age.

This crucial piece of legislation extends Fourth Amendment protections to citizens' personal communications and stored data, and it expands your protection from government intrusion onto your own property too.

HJ578 cures two wayward Supreme Court decisions (in Virginia) and would protect innocent Virginians' own backyards from snooping by government drones.

The Fourth Amendment has been chipped away by more than 225 years of executive overreach, activist judges and willful misinterpretation by some in government.  To provide a remedy against further overreach, HJ578 guarantees citizens the right to sue when government abuses its power.

In addition to Delegate Anderson's resolution, there's a companion resolution in the Virginia Senate introduced by Sen. Richard Stuart (R-28).  Now, reasonable folks may believe this could pass through both houses of the General Assembly with massive bi-partisan support.  After all, who could be against privacy rights?

But time and again these constitutional amendments are fought tooth-and-nail.

Just look at our eminent domain amendment that finally passed on the 2012 ballot.  That fight alone took eight years!

Of course, it's a good thing that our Constitution cannot be amended willy-nilly. But that means it will take hard work from thousands of patriots across Virginia.  That's why it's so critical you take action right away.

As I mentioned, a special House subcommittee is currently scheduled for hearings on HJ578.  They are currently planning to hear testimony on the bill Monday morning, January 26th.  I would expect the subcommittee to vote that day on whether to advance the resolution, so please talk to your legislators before the end of this week.

Please call these Delegates who sit on the subcommittee and urge their support for HJ578 – the Privacy Constitutional Amendment designed to bring Fourth Amendment protections into the digital age.

Del. David Ramadan (R-87), Subcommittee Chairman; 804-698-1087

Del. Jackson Miller (R-50); 804-698-1050

Del. Tim Hugo (R-40); 804-698-1040

Del. Nick Rush (R-7); 804-698-1007

Del. Johnny Joannou (D-79); 804-698-1079

Del. Joseph Lindsey (D-90); 804-698-1090

Del. Mark Cole (R-88); 804-698-1088 (Del. Cole is the Chairman of the full P&E Committee that would hear the bill if it gets out of subcommittee).

Again, please call these members of the Committee tasked with hearing Del. Anderson's Privacy Constitutional Amendment (HJ578) and urge their support.

In liberty,

Ken Cuccinelli, II


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