James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, April 04, 2005

Montana is unPATRIOTic

The state that voted for Bush but that also voted for medical marijuana is providing evidence that "red state fascism" isn't all that strong in the West:

The resolution, which already galloped through the Senate and passed the House 88-12 Friday, must survive a final vote before it officially passes.

Senate Joint Resolution 19, sponsored by Sen. Jim Elliott, D-Trout Creek, says that while the 2005 Legislature supports the federal government's fight against terrorism, the so-called Patriot Act of 2001 granted authorities sweeping powers that violate citizens' rights enshrined in both the U.S. and Montanan constitutions.

The resolution, which does not carry the weight of a law but expresses the Legislature's opinion, encourages Montana law enforcement agencies not to participate in investigations authorized under the Patriot Act that violate Montanans' constitutional rights. It requests all libraries in the state to post a sign warning citizens that under the Patriot Act, federal agents may force librarians to turn over a record of books a person has checked out and never inform that citizen of the request.

The resolution asks Montana's attorney general to review any state intelligence information and destroy it if is not tied directly to suspected criminals. It also asks the attorney general to find out how many Montanans have been arrested under the Patriot Act and how many people have been subject to so-called ‘‘sneak and peaks,'' or government searches of a person's property without the person's knowledge.

Elliott, a Democrat and rancher from northwestern Montana, sponsored the resolution, but it garnered support from Republicans on the far right of the political spectrum.

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