I took an oath to defend the constitution. That oath never expires. The Constitution is under constant assault and calls to restrict our rights are growing louder from both sides of the aisle. This is not acceptable. We must protect essential liberties like free speech and oppose unconstitutional encroachments on our rights like domestic surveillance and civil asset forfeiture.

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Due process matters. The idea that the government can take someone’s property without a guilty verdict might sound good to the government, but it doesn’t sound so good for the rest of us. Allowing the government to confiscate property by this method creates a perverse incentive system that can be abused. Any incentive system that can inspire policing-for-profit scenarios should be removed; civil forfeiture must be addressed.

I will support any initiatives that clamp down on the practice of Civil asset forfeiture.

Domestic Surveillance

The Constitution guarantees Americans a right to privacy. Too many times, the federal government’s alphabet agencies have been caught with their pants down, trampling on that right. The unconstitutional collection of personal data amounts to domestic spying. The rights of every American have been violated by these programs.

Your rights do not end when you log into your computer or pick up a cell phone.

If an agency has probable cause that someone is involved in terrorism or guilty of another crime, they must obey the Fourth Amendment. They must go before a judge to obtain a warrant.

These programs also pose a threat to the integrity of our government. Lacking citizen oversight and transparency, bulk-data collection activities open the door to political blackmail, intimidation, and exploitation by bad actors.

Many Republicans have simply shrugged their shoulders on this issue. I won’t be one of them. I will stand against any surveillance program that permits dragnet spying on the general population. To not stand against mass surveillance would be a violation of my oath.

Free Speech

Around the world, it seems more and more nations are abandoning their commitment to protecting and defending free speech. Like so many things, the erosion is being done under the guise of security. Despite the First Amendment’s explicit text, similar calls for the abridgement of free speech are being made in various corners of American society.

The practice of censoring and silencing speech online and in person should be opposed.

I won’t support any measures to abridge, control, or censor speech on any platform or in any public space, for any reason. Your rights don’t end when you step onto a sidewalk or set foot on a public university. Americans cannot be silenced. I’ll support any initiatives that seek to reinforce free speech, free expression, and peaceable assembly.

 

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