Community Resolution for New Brunswick, NJ
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States of America and its Bill of Rights, along with the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, guarantee certain liberties to all citizens, including: Freedom of speech and peaceful assembly; Established rights in judicial proceedings, including presumption of innocence, due process, legal counsel and probable cause; Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; and
WHEREAS, the New Brunswick City Council is committed to upholding the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and the New Jersey State Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the City of New Brunswick has a diverse population whose contributions to the community are vital; and
WHEREAS, the preservation of all civil rights to its citizens is essential to the well-being of all democracies; and
WHEREAS, the New Brunswick City Council affirms its strong opposition to terrorism of any kind and recognizes the necessity of the Federal Government to protect the liberty of our citizens from future terrorist acts; and
WHEREAS, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, increased security is necessary to protect the American people, to attempt to thwart further terrorist attacks, and to effectively wage a campaign against terrorism; and
WHEREAS, it is essential that, in providing such increased security, governmental agencies undertake only such security measures are reasonable and necessary and do not undermine the fundamental rights and liberties that make this nation unique and great, such as freedom of speech, religion, and assembly, the right to privacy, due process and equal protection of law, and the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures; and
WHEREAS, the New Brunswick City Council is concerned about the extent to which the USA Patriot Act (P.L. 107-56) may threaten such fundamental rights and liberties as are embodied in the Constitution of the United States and the amendments thereunto; and
WHEREAS, the Patriot Act was adopted in haste following September 11, 2001, without public hearings, or a Congressional ""mark-up""; and it would be appropriate and beneficial, in considering reauthorization, to scrutinize and evaluate the provisions of the Act closely in the context of its implementation to date; and
WHEREAS, the Patriot Act is, or soon will be, reconsidered by Congress for possible reauthorization and to determine whether various sunset provisions contained therein should be eliminated or retained,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the New Brunswick City Council affirms strong support for fundamental Constitutional rights and opposes any provisions of the USA Patriot Act that may infringe on important civil liberties, including freedom of speech and peaceful assembly; established rights in judicial proceedings, including presumption of innocence, due process, legal counsel and probable cause; protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New Brunswick City Council reaffirms its support for increased security of the public but also reaffirms its conviction that such security must not be provided in a manner that will unduly infringe upon the constitutional and other rights and liberties of the people of the United States. Security must be executed in a fashion that preserves and reaffirms these rights and liberties as guaranteed by the United States Constitution; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the New Brunswick City Council is concerned about the enforcement and implementation to date of the PATRIOT Act by United States Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and other public officials insofar as the impact upon such rights and liberties are concerned; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New Brunswick City Council accordingly:
a. calls upon the government of the United States, and the government of each and every State and the political subdivisions thereof, when enforcing or when called upon to enforce the PATRIOT Act and any other law or regulation dealing with security, to respect individual rights and not intrude upon the fundamental rights and liberties of the people of the United States.
b. calls upon our Congressional Representatives and Senators to allow all provisions of the PATRIOT Act with a sunset date to expire on that sunset date and to thoroughly scrutinize and evaluate through the public hearing process: (1) all provisions of the Act; (2) the record of enforcement and implementation of the Act to date and (3) any such similar proposed legislation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copy of this resolution to Senators Jon Corzine and Frank Lautenberg, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. and President George W. Bush and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.
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