A Pending Blow for States’ Rights

A group of legislators in Maryland has introduced the “Fourth Amendment Protection Act” in the Maryland state legislature, a bill that would deny state support to Federal agencies engaged in warrantless electronic surveillance.  This bill is aimed directly at the National Security Agency and its warrantless monitoring and tracking of US citizens (secret warrants?  C’mon), and it would block the provision of “material support, participation, or assistance in any form” by any state entity or any entity of a political subdivision of the state, or by companies with state contracts.

That “material support, participation,…” ban would include providing water and electricity via public utilities to the NSA at its Ft Meade HQ.  Other parts of the bill would prohibit the use of evidence gathered by the NSA in state courts and prevent state universities from partnering with the NSA on research.

The bill would have state or local officials who violate the ban subject to as much as a year in a county jail and a $5,000 fine.  Such officials also would be fired from their jobs and be barred from public service

Delegate Michael Smigiel (R, Dist 36):

I want Maryland standing with its back to its people holding a shield. Not facing them holding a sword.

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