Cory Gardner thinks domestic spying is great and doesn't need expedited Constitutional review
With all the national Congressional-watching media focused on that pesky continuing resolution for FY2011 (which is giving Republicans some trouble, since not all of them seem to think we should destroy all of our productive domestic programs), the Patriot Act provisions that previously failed passed the House last night. Cory Gardner voted with his Republican colleagues to gladly extend this domestic spying program through the year. In his short time in Congress, he's now gotten to vote to support these civil-rights destroying programs twice (see Roll Calls 26 and 36).
He thinks they are such good programs in fact that he voted against an amendment (See Roll Call 35) introduced by Rep. Thompson that would have ensured that the wiretaps and other activities under the PATRIOT Act are Constitutional. Mr. Thompson's amendment to the extension read as follows:
At the end of section 1, add the following new subsection:
(c) Compliance With Constitution.--
(1) INVESTIGATIONS MUST COMPLY WITH CONSTITUTION.--Each investigation of a United States citizen conducted under an extended authority shall be conducted in a manner that complies with the Constitution of the United States, including the first through tenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States (commonly known as the ``Bill of Rights'').
(2) EXPEDITED REVIEW OF VIOLATIONS.--In any civil proceeding before a Federal court that involves an alleged violation of paragraph (1), such court shall expedite such proceeding.
(3) EXTENDED AUTHORITY DEFINED.--In this subsection, the term ``extended authority'' means any authority available under-- (A) an amendment to section 105(c)(2), 501, or 502 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1805(c)(2), 1861, 1862) that took effect after October 25, 2001; or (B) section 101(b)(1)(C) of such Act, as amended by section 6001(a) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (Public Law 108-458; 118 Stat. 3742).
That amendment (ok, it was a motion to recommit with instructions, but in my book that's the same thing, as it amends the underlying bill) looks good to me. One, it requires the investigation be conducted in a manner that complies with the constitution. Two, if someone gets investigated and says the Constitution wasn't followed, the courts will expedite the decision of that case. That's sounds like common sense to me.
The vote on this was basically right down party lines (two Republicans saw the merit of the amendment, but the rest fell in line). When voting, did Rep. Gardner consider the merits of protecting the Constitution or was he just being a politician and playing the game.
I think he lied to those Tea Party folks when he kept talking about defending the Constitution and all that. Looks like he'll defend it when a vote or campaign contribution is at risk, but most of the time he'll just keep being a politician. He tells everyone one thing, but does something else. That's a lie in my book.