Rand Paul: We Are Celebrating U.S. Independence While Abetting Tyranny

by Senator Rand Paul

One of the acts that would eventually spark the War for American Independence was when the British government authorized Writs of Assistance to British officers in the colonies. This gave government the power to search any residence or business without any warning, supervision or rules. Soldiers were allowed to walk from door-to-door, house-to-house, searching and confiscating property to their hearts’ content.

As is always the case with government power, this policy was widely abused. When the Founding Fathers drafted and ratified the U.S. Constitution, they included the Fourth Amendment — the prohibition of search and seizure — to guarantee that no such affronts to liberty would happen again.

That is, if we follow the Constitution.

Today, we see a government agency that thinks its has the power to search citizens by going from phone-to-phone, gathering any-and-all data to examine to their hearts’ content. The National Security Agency phone scandal is precisely the sort of government action the Founding Fathers fought a revolution to stop and why we celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

We also have an Internal Revenue Service that targets political dissidents, which is a direct violation of the First Amendment. A Department of Justice that seizes journalists’ phone records without a warrant, which is a violation of both the First and Fourth Amendments.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence would be appalled.

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