Today, William Barr is likely to be confirmed to be the next Attorney General. While he’s a qualified leader to take the reins over the Justice Department and a strong patriot, there are concerns that we must remember as he joins the Trump administration.
First and foremost, Barr’s record on the 4th Amendment is abysmal.
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 would hope the top law enforcer in the nation would be an ardent defender of the 4th Amendment, but Barr has demonstrated not only a willingness to circumvent it at times but has also expressed annoyance that it prevents law enforcement from doing its job, particularly as it pertains to stopping terrorism. He’s also a fan of the Patriot Act, though if anything it didn’t go far enough.
Sadly, only a tiny handful of Republicans in DC seem to be concerned.
“While the Patriot Act was a major step forward and remedied FISA’s most severe problems, I believe FISA remains too restrictive….It still requires that the govt establish ‘probable cause’ that an individual is either a ‘foreign power’ or an ‘agent of a foreign power.’”
—W. Barr https://t.co/7rQHPDnsTY
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) February 12, 2019
“Many Republicans have strayed from a constitutional duty to support a limited view of federal power. The Bill of Rights recognizes the natural rights, and some positive rights, that all Americans hold dear.” https://t.co/BMqq2IdPYP
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 13, 2019
The tribalism that has infected the country and plagued groups on both sides of the political aisle has struck once again. There would be plenty of objections from conservatives if Barr had been nominated by President Obama or another Democrat, but since he’s a Trump nominee it appears he’s going to fly through with no GOP Senators objecting other than Rand Paul.
It’s a shame that the President decided to go with Barr. It’s likely he did so based on Barr’s objections to Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian hacking of the election, but otherwise Barr’s record is one that doesn’t seem very conducive to freedom. We’ll be keeping a close eye on him.