Voting Index

Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution.
This voting index is currently published twice a year in The New American magazine. Each index scores all 535 members of Congress on 10 key votes on a scale of 0% to 100%. The more the Representatives and Senators adhere to the Constitution in their votes, the higher their scores on this index.

States and Cities Step Up and Resist Drone Surveillance

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
02/12/2013
       
States and Cities Step Up and Resist Drone Surveillance

An increasing number of lawmakers in states and municipalities across the country are proposing bills aimed at restricting the use of drones in their jurisdictions.

We live in a country where the president has assumed the power to kill American citizens without due process and the Justice Department produces memos supporting the legality of it.

Fortunately, we also live in a country where concerned citizens and their local lawmakers are waking up and defending civil liberties and the Constitution that protects them.

For example, on February 4 the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, passed a measure declaring the use of drones in the United States to be “a serious threat to the privacy and constitutional rights of the American people.

The resolution (passed by a vote of 3-2) endorsed the proposal for a two-year moratorium on drones in the state of Virginia. Furthermore, it would prohibit the use of “information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court” located within Virginia, as well as outlawing the weaponization of drone fleets in the state.

As reported by the Tenth Amendment Center, David Swanson took the lead in pushing for adoption of the resolution. “In the past, Charlottesville has passed resolutions that have inspired other localities and impacted federal and state policies. Let us hope this one is no exception,” Swanson told the Tenth Amendment Center.

Councilmember Dede Smith, who voted in favor of the bill, is quoted in a US News story saying she believes drones are "pretty clearly a threat to our constitutional right to privacy."

"If we don't get out ahead of it to establish some guidelines for how drones are used, they will be used in a very invasive way and we'll be left to try and pick up the pieces," she said in the report.

Amie Stepanovich, a lawyer with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), told US News that the "Charlottesville resolution demonstrates that people care about protecting their civil liberties and Fourth Amendment rights and are willing to devote the time necessary to closely examine this issue."

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo: Serious man showing stop gesture with hand as warning while holding stop sign isolated on grey background via Shutterstock

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