resolution opposing USA Patriot Act -2004
Sponsored By: Consent
Proposed By: Barbara Brenner
Introduction Date: 4/20/2004
RESOLUTION NO. 2004-029
OPPOSING SECTIONS OF THE USA PATRIOT ACT
WHEREAS, the Whatcom County Council supports the constitutional rights of all its' citizens; and
WHEREAS, the county council supports most efforts to combat terrorism; and
WHEREAS, the county council supports all lawful and constitutional efforts to prevent and investigate terrorist or other criminal acts and to prosecute their perpetrators; and
WHEREAS, the county council believes that sufficient constitutionally acceptable tools existed prior to the passage of the "USA Patriot Act" or any other restrictive acts, for law enforcement to accomplish its intended lawful purpose; and
WHEREAS, the county council believes that any act, enactment, law, legislation, or other means which dilutes, weakens, or denies the State and/or Federal constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens is void from its inception, is unenforceable in our jurisdiction, and should be quashed, repealed, or found by a court of jurisdiction to be unconstitutional in part or in full, as appropriate to protect the rights and freedom of the citizenry; and
WHEREAS, the county council believes that among those objectionable provisions that warrant modification or repeal are measures that permit weakening of fundamental protections and guarantees found in our Bill of Rights including, but not limited to, provisions that; reduce judicial supervision of telephone and Internet surveillance (section 216); expand the government's power to conduct secret searches without warrants (section 213); grant power to the U. S. Secretary to State to designate domestic groups, including political and religious groups, as ""terrorist organizations"" (section 211); and grant the FBI the power to compel libraries and bookstores to produce circulation or book purchase records of their patrons, and forbidding disclosure that such records have been requested and produced. (section 215)
WHEREAS, the county council strongly encourages all citizens, organizations, and governmental legislative bodies to study and understand the State and Federal Constitutions and their history, and the Bill of Rights and its history so that they can recognize and resist attempts to undermine our constitutional republic and the system of government that has brought our civilization so much success; and
WHEREAS, the Whatcom County Council values the right to privacy; and
WHEREAS, the county council believes it is the duty of every citizen to protect and defend the State and Federal Constitutions from all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to demonstrate respect for the rights that have been paid for with the blood and sweat of the American people throughout our history; and
WHEREAS, the County Council is concerned about unfunded mandates that would place unfair financial burdens on the County budget to implement or enforce the USA Patriot Act in Whatcom County.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Whatcom County Council respectfully opposes all sections of the ""USA Patriot Act"" that weaken the freedoms and inalienable rights on which the United States of America was founded.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Whatcom County Council supports those sections of the 93USA Patriot Act94 that enhance the capacity for law enforcement agencies to protect our citizens against terrorist acts.
APPROVED this 20th day of April 2004.
WHATCOM COUNTY COUNCIL
WHATCOM COUNTY WASHINGTON
Dana Brown-Davis, Clerk of the Council
Dan McShane, Council Chair
APPROVED AS TO FORM
Civil Deputy Prosecutor