2nd Amendment, Constitution, Issues

Sen. Joe Manchin: ‘Due process is killing us’

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While the rest of the Washington, D.C. political establishment is losing its collective minds over the latest terrorist attack in Orlando, Fla. and what it means for our society, allow us to set out a very clear marker on what the attack does not mean.

The massacre at the Pulse Night Club by an Islamist killer does not mean that rights can now be denied by the government merely based on suspicion.

Let’s go through the list, since everyone seems to need a refresher.

The government cannot deny an individual’s the right to speak out, or to practice his or her religion, or publish an article, or gather to protest any policy, simply because a bureaucrat says that person is suspicious.

The government cannot engage in mass surveillance over the entire nation, gathering phone and other electronic records, simply because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court deems some persons in the country might be suspicious. Similarly, an individual cannot be put under surveillance without a warrant demonstrating probable cause that he or she has committed or is about to commit a crime.

The government cannot fly drones over our heads and exterminate individuals deemed enemy combatants by the President because he or she was suspicious of certain individuals.

The government cannot deny an individual trial by jury simply because the defendant was suspicious.

The government cannot quarter troops in homes simply because they find those homes to be suspicious.

The government cannot compel you to testify against yourself, even when you are under suspicion.

And the government cannot deny the individual right to keep and bear arms — that is, to purchase a firearm — simply because the government finds an individual to be suspicious.

Not under the Constitution, that is.

Do you know why?

All of the aforementioned rights — and others — are protected by the U.S. Constitution. But, the one that makes it all work in an orderly fashion, and limits and restricts the government’s ability to curtail all of these rights is the Fifth Amendment.

You know, the one that says, “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

In other words, unless you have been convicted of a crime, the government has absolutely no basis in restricting your liberty. Or killing you. Or seizing your property.

And the government cannot convict you of a crime without that important trial by jury.

And it cannot arrest you in the first place to try you for that crime without probable cause that you committed the crime.

The government cannot go ask a judge or any other government official to deny you your rights out of suspicion. That is not due process. It is arbitrary coercion. It is making all rights little more than privileges that can be revoked at will.

Even Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was able to identify due process on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, that is, as an obstacle to his totalitarian delusions.

“It’s due process, it’s all due process,” Manchin complained. “So can’t we say that if someone is under suspicion that there ought to be a five-year period of time that we have to see if there’s good behavior? If this person continues the same traits? Maybe we can come to that type of an agreement. But due process is what’s killing us right now.”

Manchin has fallen a long way from his TV ad promise when he shot holes in Cap and Trade legislation.

No, Joe, you can’t have a five-year waiting periods and then if you behave well you get to exercise your rights. It’s insane, and we’d have to be insane as a society to accept it. No longer free. But prisoners of the state.

Senators take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Since Manchin — and rest of the Washington, D.C. political establishment — have now decided that the Constitution is the problem, they can no longer fulfill their oaths. Manchin and others’ only honorable course of action is to resign.

Or, file an amendment to do away with due process.

But enough of this security versus liberty debate. It’s wrong. Whatever we might have thought after 9/11. It’s just wrong. There are neither wartime nor political exceptions to individual rights under the Constitution. Look it up. Read it for yourself. It’s not in there. Those rights apply across the board, to every person in the country, regardless of the political situation on Capitol Hill or how many killers are roaming around.

Don’t like it?

Go live in China or North Korea or Iran. They don’t like rights too much. They lack constitutional protections and have no problems squelching dissent, making people disappear and all other sorts of evils.

If we want to have a sane, rational debate about how to protect our society that does not include stripping the American people of their rights merely out of suspicion, fine, let’s have at it. Otherwise it would seem Sen. Manchin and others really need to get their heads examined.

This is a guest post by Robert Romano senior editor of Americans of Limited Government.
  • disqus_xLn56CDAGb

    This covers it. Keep it in the back of your mind the next time you hear a turncoat idiot like Joe Manchin bloviate about how the rules are preventing him from saving the world. And if you ever hear “it’s for the children”, you better start stocking up on ammo. Fast.

    UNITED STATES CODE 
    TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 
    PART I – CRIMES 
    CHAPTER 13 – CIVIL RIGHTS 

    § 241. Conspiracy against rights

    If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

    If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured –

    They shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results, they shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

    § 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law

    Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such inhabitant being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

    • gwedem5995

      I am so sick of people like Obama blaming our gun rights and telling us that it not who we are.
      Not only are some radical muslims deranged but a lot of who are coming are also bringing diseases. I think his first job should be to protect our citizens.

  • Name

    Every Democrat in office nation wide should be charged under this code along with every Republican that went along with the Demos.

  • Jay Bloom

    Joe Manchin needs to re-focus and allow proper vetting such that those espousing beliefs upholding Sharia beliefs are NOT assimilating and do NOT belong here. That goes for any refugees infiltrating. Manchin has lost sight of the fact that Islamic Terrorists are using our laws against us and FOR their nefarious purposes.

  • RLTMLT

    What passes for the Democrat Party now immediately jumped on this event with both feet and used it to justify the elimination of some of our fundamental Constitutional Rights that they have long sought to eliminate. That fact was immediately detected and pointed out by some of our wisest Republican Stalwarts the next day. This may have been one of the Dems biggest cockups yet soliciting sympathy for a Homosexual and Transgender Community that has long been condemned by the Bible, the Fundamentalist Religious Groups, and most traditional religious institutions in this country. A large voting block that regularly marches to the polls in unity to vote against those individuals and groups who dare to challenge God’s word !

  • I-RIGHT-I

    Is it just me or does he like a mafia underboss on The Sopranos?

  • Anvil6

    Ashamed to admit he’s one of my Senators. He’s a disgrace to the State of West Virginia. Wrote him on his “contacts page” that due process is the foundation of rule of law. Ended the note with the suggestion that a US Senator who advocates usurping due process and the rule of law should probably just resign. Fat lot of good It’ll do, but he’s been ‘advised’.

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