Community Resoluton for Franklin, NJ

July 14, 2005
Resolution Affirming the Commitment of the Township of Franklin to the United States Constituition and the Civil Liberties Guaranteed by the Bill of Rights

WHEREAS, the Township of Franklin has a diverse population whose contributions to the community are vital to its economy, culture, and civic character;

WHEREAS, sever acts and orders recently enacted at the Federal level, including sections of the USA PATRIOT ACT and several Executive Orders, now infringe upon the following rights and liberties, all guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights:

Freedom of speech, religion, assembly and privacy
The right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings, and
Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures;

WHEREAS, the council of the Township of Franklin affirms its strong opposition to terrorism of any kind;

WHEREAS, the Council of the Township of Franklin affirms the responsibility of the leaders of the United States to seek national security without sacrificing the basic civil rights upon which our nation is founded, which rights have been vigilantly protected for over 200 years;

WHEREAS, under the auspices of both the USA PATRIOT ACT and related executive orders, persons of Middle Eastern descent, South Asian descent and of the Muslim faith have been targeted for interrogation and possible deportation in violation of laws prohibiting governmental discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities;

WHEREAS, approximately 230 other communities in a majority of the United States, and at least 3 state legislatures have passed resolutions or ordinances protecting the civil liberties of their residents;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the Township of Franklin:

1. Reaffirms strong support for the rights of immigrants and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny based on their country of origin or ethnicity;

2. Reaffirms strong support for racial equality and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny based on their race;

3. Reaffirms strong support for freedom of religion and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny based on their religious beliefs;

4. Reaffirms strong support for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny based on their non-criminal speech and association;

5. Reaffirms its direction to the Police Department and to all other township employees and municipal workers of the Township of Franklin to:

Refrain from surveillance of individuals or groups and from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious, or social views of any individual or group unless there is a reasonable ground to suspect that the subject of the surveillance or information collection is or may be involved in criminal activity;
Refrain from using race, religion, ethnicity or national origin as a factor in selecting which individuals to subject to investigative activities unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the subject of the investigation is or may be involved in criminal activity;

6. In accordance with time tested legal procedures concerning search warrants, reaffirms its direction to the Police Department of the Township of Franklin to give advance or simultaneous notice of the execution of a search warrant to any resident of the Township of Franklin whose property is the subject of such a warrant to the extent permitted by the courts;

7. Requests federal and state law enforcement officials acting within the Township of Franklin to work in accordance with the policies of the Franklin Police Department and in cooperation with the Police Department by not engaging in or permitting detentions without charges of the residents of Franklin;

8. Directs the Clerk of the Township of Franklin to transmit a copy of this resolution to Senators Corzine and Lautenberg and Representatives Holt and Pallone accompanied by a letter urging them to:

Work to repeal or amend provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act or other related federal executive orders, regulations, and actions that infringe on civil rights and liberties;
Ensure that provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2005 do expire without extension;
Monitor the implementation of the Act and Orders cited above in order to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights;
Propose and support congressional action to prohibit passage of the act known as ""Patriot II"" or other acts or orders that violate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights;

9. Directs the Clerk of the Township of Franklin to transmit a copy of this resolution to Governor McGreevey and appropriate members of the State Legislature;

10. Directs the Clerk of the Township of Franklin to transmit a copy of this resolution to all Departments, Agencies and Agents of the Township of Franklin.

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