Is our Constitution under siege?
Many civil liberties advocates fear it might be. They’re worried about a provision tucked into the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, approved by the Senate last week, that would allow the military to detain without a trial any American citizen accused of being a terrorist, or of supporting terrorists who plot attacks against the United States. The ACLU called the proposal “an extreme position that will forever change our country.”
The indefinite detention provision is just one of many trends in policing and law enforcement that have civil liberties advocates alarmed. New external threats, as well as technological advancements, are posing new challenges to our Constitutional rights, advocates say. Policymakers are debating those issues in Congress and in the courts right now, and the decisions they make could have fundamental consequences for what it means to be an American.
Here are five issues that are especially worrisome to civil liberties watchdogs: