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Raleigh Patriot Act

Status Of The Matter

Just 45 days after the September 11 attacks, with virtually no debate, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Many parts of this sweeping legislation take away checks on law enforcement and threaten the very rights and freedoms that we are struggling to protect. For example, without a warrant and without probable cause, the FBI now has the power to access your most private medical records, your library records, and your student records... and can prevent anyone from telling you it was done.

The Department of Justice is expected to introduce a sequel, dubbed "PATRIOT ACT II", that would further erode key freedoms and liberties of every American.

The ACLU and many allies on the left and right believe that before giving law enforcement new powers, Congress must first re-examine provisions of the first PATRIOT ACT to ensure that is in alignment with key constitutional protections.

In response to the passage of the USA Patriot Act, civil libertarians - liberal and conservative – began a nationwide movement pressuring city councils, universities, counties and even states to pass resolutions barring the use of local policing resources from being used on any federal investigation conducted under the Patriot Act. Over 350 administrative areas have already done just that.

On the local level, Wake County ACLU responded to this by introducing the Raleigh Patriot Act Resolution in the Raleigh City Council. The main goal of the resolution was to insure that no policing or other resources were contributed to any federal investigation conducted under the Patriot Act since it is arguably unconstitutional. The resolution was first sent on to a Human Rights Committee. The committee made minor alterations and sent it back to the Raleigh City Council for approval. Eventually after a heated debate the Raleigh City Council passed and even more altered version. This last version simply affirmed that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are above any laws that are created by Congress including the Patriot Act.


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