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Monday, July 03, 2006

Legislative Alerts

I dropped the ball on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment by not posting the action alert before Wednesday's vote, but it's not too late to take action on these other legislative items that affect personal freedom.

H.R. 5295

At the DARE Generation Diary, Tom Angell reports that H.R. 5295, introduced by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky), would make it easier for school employees to invade students' privacy:
Currently, in order for a teacher to search a student’s locker they need to have “reasonable suspicion” that the student is in possession of illegal drugs. H.R. 5295 would change the standard needed for a search to “colorable suspicion,” a term that has been made up entirely for this bill. Essentially, a teacher would need nothing more than a hunch in order to search a student’s locker or possessions.

This bill is nothing more than another attack on the constitutional rights of young people by the federal government. Students should never have to check their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door.

H.R. 5295 is currently in the Education Reform Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. You can find the full text of the bill here.
The Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Youth Policy Action Center make it easy to contact your U.S. Representative, providing a sample letter here. Please tell your U.S. Representative to vote NO on H.R. 5295

H.R. 4777

At To the People, Cicero warns about a bill sponsored by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.):

[H.R. 4777] would ban most online gambling, including bets on sporting events and games of chance such as poker. The bill would also force banking and credit card executives to become law enforcement officers by compelling them to monitor their customers' activities and block transactions related to online gambling. Most disturbingly, it would give federal agencies the power to force Internet service providers to remove or disable links to gambling sites, which is government censorship on par with what China and other totalitarian countries do.
The bill was recently reported out of the House Judiciary Committee. You can find the full text of the bill here.

Cicero also reports that on-line auction company EBay is supporting the bill:
...it is simply unacceptable for an Internet company to support legislation that infringes on the rights of Internet companies and their customers. Internet companies should be united on net freedom, and those who break ranks and work with politicians to destroy what makes the Internet so great should be criticized and boycotted.

The Poker Players Alliance provides a sample letter and makes it easy to find your U.S. representative's and senators' contact information. Please tell your members of Congress to vote NO on H.R. 4777.

This Independence Day weekend, please take a few minutes to help preserve the freedom that makes America great by telling your members of Congress to vote against these two bills. Remember, go here to tell your representative to vote no on H.R. 5295 and here to tell your members of Congress to vote no on H.R. 4777.


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