When I first heard of the Patriot Act, I quickly realized that many of it's sections were unconstitutional. The Patriot Act was formed "To deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world." (Ashcroft) Then in section 202, the Patriot Act gives the government the "authority to intercept wire, oral, and electric communications" (2). This gives the government the ability to tap phones and to detain people for almost no reason at all. The only form of reason they need is suspicion. This is in direct violation with our fourth constitutional amendment, which states:.
"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." (Bill of rights).
Do I agree with this so called law? No. I assume that the Patriot act was created by patriotic Americans with "good intentions," those good intentions being the safety of the American people as well as to try to prevent another terrorist attack. However in this case, like so many times before, good intentions lead to painful repercussions. In the 1940s, for example, Congress wanted to keep America safe from Japan. The 1950s saw similar actions when Joe McCarthy wanted to help keep Americans safe from the Soviet Union. I guess the question is; Will the Patriot Act have similar repercussions and is it unconstitutional?.
To visualize the possible repercussions of the Patriot Act, one must first be familiar with the repercussions of similar actions the government has taken in the past. Following December 7th 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. This permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of National Defense.