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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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.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, a terrible bill proposed by the Intelligence Committee that will not only extend Section 702’s vast surveillance powers, but also explicitly give the FBI and other law enforcement permission to sift through the data collected without a warrant.