The Fourth Amendment of our U.S. Constitution reads as follows:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
One of our members recently contacted Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) regarding the Fourth Amendment. ? ?The Senator’s answer – both in what he says and what he does not say – gives some insight in to the Senator’s understanding of that amendment. ? Read the reply for yourself:
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for S. 1121, the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013.? Your opinion is very important to me, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you on this critical issue.
S. 1121 would bar any agency of the United States from searching the phone records of Americans without a warrant based upon probable cause.
S. 1121 was referred to the Senate Committee on?the Judiciary.? Hearings and mark-ups of pending legislation are scheduled at the discretion of the Committee’s Chairman, Senator?Patrick Leahy of Vermont.? Although I am not a member of this committee,?I have long held concerns about federal data collection program and the need for additional oversight protections.
I voted against legislation reauthorizing Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) last Congress, and?I also proudly supported reasonable measures that would have improved how our country gathers intelligence.??Please be assured that I will?continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that we give our leaders the tools they need to protect our national security while, at the same time, sufficiently safeguarding the privacy and civil rights of U.S. citizens.
Again, thank you for?sharing your thoughts with me.??Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of concern.? I invite you to visit my website? (http://menendez.senate.gov) to learn more about how I am standing up for New Jersey families in the United States Senate.