What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Individual Rights : H.R. 2799. Fiscal 2004 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations/Vote to Uphold the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by Preventing Law Enforcement From Conducting Searches Without a Warrant. (2003 house Roll Call 408)
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H.R. 2799. Fiscal 2004 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations/Vote to Uphold the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by Preventing Law Enforcement From Conducting Searches Without a Warrant.
house Roll Call 408     Jul 22, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

One provision in the 2001 U.S. PATRIOT Act allows law enforcement the power to conduct searches without first obtaining a warrant. These "sneak-and-peak" searches, proponents argue, are needed to protect the country from terrorist activities. In the view of Progressives, conducting searches without a warrant violates individual protections from illegal search and seizure as codified in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. During consideration of the 2004 Commerce, Justice, and State appropriations bill, Representative Otter (R-ID) introduced a measure which would have prevented the government from conducting "sneak-and-peak" searches. Progressives voted in favor of Otter's amendment as a way to protect the constitutional rights of suspected criminals (obtaining a warrant requires law enforcement officials to demonstrate "probable cause" that a suspect is involved in criminal activities). Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favor of Otter's measure and, with Republicans divided on the issue, the amendment to prevent "sneak-and-peak" was adopted on a 309-118 vote.

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