Defending Rights & Dissent tracks national legislation that impacts your Constitutional rights, working with members of Congress to introduce bills to protect and advance your rights, and fighting bills that trample them.
115th Congress (2017-2019)
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As Congress seeks to counter Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, lawmakers have turned for help to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, an 80-year-old law that requires agents of foreign principals to register with the Attorney General. Several bills have been introduced to strengthen enforcement of the law, which has been rarely used.
Senators Patrick Leahy and Steve Daines Seek to Rein in Warrantless Border Searches of Electronic Devices
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) has the authority to look through an US person’s (i.e. citizen or lawful permanent resident) electronic devices at the border and at international airports even if they cannot cite a reason for being suspicious.A bipartisan bill proposed in Congress on Tuesday would limit these practices and strengthen the Fourth Amendment rights of US persons when they are reentering the country.
The Constitution gives Congress, not the President the power to declare war. The United States is currently engaged in escalating military operations in a number of countries, including Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Niger. None of these conflicts have been authorized by Congress. The executive branch has cited an anachronistic AUMF as a way to sidestep a congressional debate.