Sunday, October 23, 2011

We need the ACLU

I have often been critical of the ACLU. I think they put too much energy into making sure we are not subjected to public prayer or see a public Christmas display and I think they generally have a liberal agenda. However, sometimes they are exactly right.

I think Hedy Weinberg, Executive Director of American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is correct in her Tennessean editorail today when she says, "The federal government has the responsibility and power to enforce immigration laws, but it cannot do so by breaking the law and running roughshod over the Constitution." (link)

Too many conservatives who vow they love the constitution and are critical of a government that runs roughshod over the constitution are awfully selective about which parts of the constitution they are concerned about. They like the enumerated powers section, the Tenth Amendment, and Second Amendment, but they don't seem to care much for the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment.

The First Amendment, they will argue, was not really intended to cover Muslims because the Muslim faith is not really a religion but an ideology so local governments should get to decide who gets to build a house of worship in their community.

Regarding the Fourth Amendment, many conservatives do not seem to mind that the government can demand, "show me your papers" or can conduct raids without search warrants or probable cause if the objective of the raid is national security or immigration control.

The Fourth Amendment says, "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." This amendment is every bit as important as the second amendment or any other of our rights. If we accept that government can search our homes without warrants we may wake up and all of our freedoms are gone. We need defenders of the Constitution who will insure that government does not trample that right.

If Constitutional Conservative are going to be selective about which parts of the Constitution they really like, then we need the ACLU.

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