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"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
                                             -- George Washington

"If we stuck to the Constitution as written, we would have: no federal meddling in our schools; no Federal Reserve; no U.S. membership in the UN; no gun control; and no foreign aid.

We would have no welfare for big corporations, or the "poor"; no American troops in 100 foreign countries; no NAFTA, GATT, or "fast-track"; no arrogant federal judges usurping states rights; no attacks on private property; no income tax. We could get rid of most of the cabinet departments, most of the agencies, and most of the budget."

Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom by Dr. Ron Paul

"Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens' lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons."
                                             -- Congressman Ron Paul

End the Fed by Dr. Ron Paul

"The government is best which governs least."
                                                       -- Thomas Jefferson

Freedom in the News

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

aclj.org

by Jay Sekulow

July 18, 2013

Everything we have heard from the IRS and the Obama Admin about the targeting of the Tea Party seems to end up being proven false, one by one, as the congressional investigation and our lawsuit on behalf of 41 targeted conservative groups continues.

The latest bombshell revelation comes from congressional testimony of senior IRS attorneys directly involved in the targeting of the Tea Party that IRS Chief Counsel's office was directly involved in targeting the Tea Party, delaying their applications, and developing the unconstitutional and intrusive inquire process. IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins is a direct political appointee of President Obama in 2009 and significantly calls into question the Obama Administration's ever evolving timeline of who knew what when, but even more importation who directed and orchestrated the targeting of the Tea Party.

aclj.org

by Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (aclj)

June 27, 2013

Less than 24 hours after being socked on the chin by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Hobby Lobby case, the Obama Administration showed that it is still incapable of understanding reality when it comes to religious liberty.

In the latest version of the "Final Rules" - known better as the "HHS Mandate" - the Administration offers religious groups such as the Little Sisters of the Poor and Louisiana Baptist College the same carrot they've been dangling before them for over a year - "you provide your employees a health insurance plan that excludes drugs you have religious objections to, including abortion-inducing drugs, and we'll magically make sure they get them anyway." How this is to happen technically is spelled out in 110 pages of bureaucratic gobbledygook that has as a goal (so the government assures us) "respecting the concerns of nonprofit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage." The Founders didn't need 110 pages - or even one page -- to protect religious liberty. They needed only one sentence, the sentence that stands at the top of our Bill of Rights...

aclj.org

by Jay Sekulow

May 23, 2013

We now know that Lois Lerner, the Director of Exempt Organizations for the Internal Revenue Service - who refused to testify before a House committee by invoking the Fifth Amendment - has a paper trail that reveals her direct involvement.

As you know, ACLJ represented 27 Tea Party organizations in 17 states. Of those, 15 received their tax-exempt status after lengthy delays, 10 are still pending, and two clients withdrew their applications because of frustration with the IRS process. Consider the timeline. We now know through her own testimony and from the Inspector General's report that Lerner was briefed about this unlawful targeting scheme in June 2011. But nine months later, beginning in March 2012, she sent cover letters to many of our clients - demanding additional information and forwarding intrusive questionnaires. In fact, in March and April of 2012, Lerner sent 15 letters to 15 different clients (including those who were approved after lengthy delays and those who are still pending).

aclj.org

by Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (aclj)

March 7, 2013

A third-grade student's mother at a public school in California requested the ACLJ's assistance to ensure that the student may continue to express his religious faith by openly wearing a cross necklace while he is on school grounds.

The student often wears a cross necklace to school to symbolize his Christian faith, which has grown especially important to him after he and his siblings survived a dangerous car accident with virtually no physical injuries. On multiple occasions, however, both his teacher and the principal have scolded him for wearing his cross necklace so that it is visible to other students and have required him to hide the necklace under his shirt because it is a religious symbol.

aclu.org

July 28, 2014

Because freedom can't protect itself Government Spying Undermines Media Freedom and Right to Counsel, ACLU- Human Rights Watch Shows

Large-scale U.S. surveillance is seriously hampering U.S.-based journalists and lawyers in their work, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch said in a joint report released today. Surveillance is undermining media freedom and the right to counsel, and ultimately obstructing the American people's ability to hold their government to account, the groups said. The 120-page report, "With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale U.S. Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy," is based on extensive interviews with dozens of journalists, lawyers, and senior U.S. government officials. It documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented U.S. government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report finds that government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public's right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy.

aclu.org

by Kara Dansky

June 26, 2014

It's 3:00 a.m. Your children are screaming and your dog is lying dead in a pool of blood. Scorch marks and shattered glass cover the floor. You're being held at gunpoint by towering figures wearing black and holding AK-47s.

This isn't a Hollywood movie set. Odds are this is a predawn SWAT raid targeting a family of color. Mission objective: search the home for a small amount of drugs. There are an estimated 45,000 SWAT raids every year. That means this sort of violent, paramilitary raid is happening in about 124 homes every day - or more likely every night - not in an overseas combat zone, but here in American neighborhoods. The police, who are supposed to serve and protect communities, are instead waging war on the people who live in them.

aclu.org

by Brett Max Kaufman

August 10, 2013

Charlie Savage of The New York Times confirmed this week what we have been warning about for years, including to the Supreme Court last fall: The National Security Agency (NSA) is "searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance . . . ." The rub: If you've sent an international email or text since 2008, chances are the government has looked inside of it. In other words, the same NSA surveillance dragnet that government officials have consistently dismissed as speculative and far-fetched is very, very real. The Times's front-page story raises questions akin to those advanced by a report in The Guardian last week revealing that under a program codenamed "XKeyScore," NSA analysts use dropdown menus and filters - just like the ones we all use every single day on the web - to gain instant access to "nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet." Essentially, XKeyScore is the NSA's very own, very powerful surveillance search engine.

aclu.org

by Alex Abdo

August 2, 2013

In the wake of recent news that the NSA is spying on Americans, I have been particularly struck by the argument that "if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear."

At first blush, this argument might seem sound - after all, if the government is merely conducting anti-terrorism surveillance, non-terrorists shouldn't be affected, right? But if you look more closely, you'll see this idea is full of holes. The "nothing to hide" argument mistakenly suggests that privacy is something only criminals desire. In fact, we choose to do many things in private - sing in the shower, make love, confide in family and friends - even though they are not wrong or illegal. Who would not be embarrassed if all of their most intimate details were exposed?

aclu.org

by Allie Bohm

June 20, 2013

Montana just made history.

It recently enacted the first state law in the nation (sponsored by Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings)) requiring law enforcement to obtain a probable-cause warrant before tracking an individual based on his or her cell phone location information, social networking check-ins, or via a GPS tracking device in a criminal investigation. (A few states do have laws pertaining only to GPS tracking.) The ACLU of Montana's public policy director, Niki Zupanic, confessed her surprise that Montana was the first state in the nation to pass broad location-tracking protections. Perhaps Montanans, known for their love of freedom and privacy, intuitively understand how sensitive location information can be and how much where you go can reveal about who you are.

aclu.org

by Patrick C. Toomey

May 30, 2013

Court rulings unsealed last week in Washington show for the first time a behind-the-scenes legal battle over when the government should have to tell you that it's tracking your location and reading your email.

These documents-which came to light only as the public learned more about the government's controversial investigation of Fox News journalist James Rosen-reveal significant new details about the government's obligation to provide notice, after the fact, when it obtains geolocation data or obtains stored email messages. Indeed, the court orders bring to light a striking contrast: federal prosecutors in Washington routinely provide notice to individuals they track using cell-phone geolocation data, even if that notice is delayed, yet the government strenuously resists giving any notice to individuals when searching and reading their emails.

      
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