The unconstitutional dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA) may have the president’s blessing, but many state legislators recognize it as the curse it is.
Mississippi is the latest state to see state lawmakers step into the breach and act as the last line of defense of liberty that our Founders intended them to be.
On January 20, state Senator Chris McDaniel introduced Senate Bill 2438, the Fourth Amendment Protection Act.
The bill declares it the policy of the Magnolia State to
refuse material support, participation or assistance to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation or order which purports to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person(s) pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person(s), place(s) and thing(s) to be searched or seized.
The Fourth Amendment protects the right of the people “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Further, it declares that “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.”
With that guarantee in mind, the Mississippi measure makes perfect constitutional sense and is nothing more than a restatement of a fundamental principle of liberty.
Section 2 of SB 2438 specifically mandates that
no agency of this state, political subdivision of this state, or employee of an agency or political subdivision acting in his or her official capacity, or corporation providing services on behalf of this state or a political subdivision of this state shall:
(a) Provide material support, participation or assistance in any form, with any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation or order which purports to authorize, the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person(s) pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person(s), place(s) and thing(s) to be searched or seized.
The punishments for violation of these prohibitions range from denial of state budget funds to permanent ineligibility to hold “any office of trust, honor or emolument under the laws of [Mississippi].”
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Photo of Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Miss