NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Proliferating Police Powers Contained In Bill

May 31, 2000

Republican lawmakers outraged at the Elian Gonzalez raid should oppose a bill that would weaken the Fourth Amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures, says Investor's Business Daily. However, the Senate has passed, and the House of Representatives is poised to pass, a bill that would do just that.

The bill is the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act, which the president -- who supported the Elian raid -- can not be expected to veto.

  • The bill would let law enforcement officers search property and seize assets without the knowledge of their owner.
  • Not until after the fact would the owner be notified that a warrant had been executed.
  • Another provision of the bill makes it illegal to publish or advertise information about drugs and drug paraphernalia -- a violation of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.

Rep. Bob Barr (Rep-Ga.) plans to offer amendments that would remove the privacy-invading sections of the bill. But the suppression of drug information has received less attention.

Source: Editorial, "Legislating Away Rights," Investor's Business Daily, May 31, 2000.


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