Ohio "Patriot" Act Update
Senate Bill 9, the Ohio "Patriot" Act, could come to a vote in the Ohio House of Representatives during the House's summer session on August 2nd. That means that if you have not yet contacted your state representative and asked him or her to vote against Senate Bill 9, you still have two weeks to do so. The ACLU of Ohio makes it easy to find your state representative's contact information, and even provides a sample letter.
Here's one particularly scary aspect of the legislation, from the ACLU's talking points:
Two sections of SB 9 require people to show identification when requested by law enforcement. One section allows law enforcement to check IDs of "similarly situated" people at critical transportation sites, like airports or bus stations. The open-ended authority to seek identification from anyone at a listed site, absent a legitimate justification for the demand, has great potential for abuse. What is to stop authorities from declaring that, say, all people who appear to be of middle-eastern origin are similarly situated but that all others are not? The requirement is highly offensive to the idea that people should be permitted to move about freely absent some compelling limitation on that freedom.Another section requires you to provide your name, address, or date of birth to a law enforcement officer who “reasonably suspects” that you have committed or are about to commit a crime, or that you have witnessed a crime, or even witnessed a plan to commit a crime. Officers could always, of course, investigate upon reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The witnessing provision is more problematic, as it could include virtually anyone at anytime who may have seen anything – making it all too susceptible to abuse.
If you care about your freedom, and that of your family, please take a few minutes to voice your opposition to this bill.