On February 3rd, fifteen Arizona Republican Senate committee members introduced Senate Bill 1156, which blocks federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies from obtaining intelligence data with the help of the State on individuals without a warrant. The bill, also known as the Arizona 4th Amendment Protection Act, is the first of such in the nation and passed the committee by a vote of 4-2. One of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Kelli Ward (R-AZ) quoted Ben Franklin in support of the bill, saying, “We cannot sacrifice liberty for security.”
While the bill only protects citizens from the state of Arizona handing over warrantless intelligence to the federal government, it sends a clear message to the rest of the country that this is one state which will not participate in the inherently unconstitutional corruption of the federal government. The recent scandals involving the NSA spying on literally everyone, and the IRS conducting unnecessary investigations of Tea Party members, is undeniable proof of corruption despite what President Obama tells Bill O’Reilly.
Reuters released a report in August 2013 revealing that federal agencies like the DEA’s Special Operations Division are able to intercept and share intelligence with state and local law enforcement agencies without a search warrant. Not only is warrantless intelligence obtained, but agents are to “recreate” the origins in which the investigation began. Essentially, no one but the agency ever knows how or why an investigation began because the agency covers its tracks so as to avoid legal and constitutionality issues.
Arizona is no stranger to controversial legislation and rebelling against an extremely liberal government. Many recall the uproar from the left that Senate Bill 1070 created back in 2010. SB 1070 was in many ways a landmark law and accomplished the illegal immigration measures the federal government will not enforce. The crux of the bill is to eliminate illegal immigration into Arizona by requiring persons to carry registration documents and allow law enforcement officers to inquire of one’s citizenship status if there is reasonable suspicion during a “lawful stop, detention, or arrest”. United States Justice Department, under Eric Holder, challenged the law. The majority opinion in Arizona v. The United States essentially upheld the provision of the law which allows Arizona law enforcement officers to question and investigate the citizenship status of a person who was stopped, detained, or arrested if there is reasonable suspicion to do so.
While federal agencies like the NSA continue to remain corrupt, the state of Arizona is taking a stand against participating directly in such unconstitutional activity. Despite having concentrated areas of liberal constituencies, the state has generally been able to maintain its conservative roots and protect its legal citizens; and the passing of SB 1156 is evidence of that. With so many states across the country adopting the liberal agenda as part of their governing, it is refreshing to see Arizona protect and provide a safeguard to citizens’ Constitutional rights.
How ironic is it that it was Arizona Republicans who introduced this crucial bill and not a single Democrat. Not only that, but a state that just recently turned 100 years old is working to maintain and safeguard Constitutional rights more so than liberal states such as Massachusetts, whose license plate slogan reads “The Spirit of America.” Considering how far apart these two states are on the political spectrum, it should be noted that the “racist” Conservative state is the one pushing back on a liberal, unethical federal government. Apparently, those right wing nut jobs out West really aren’t so bad now, are they?
Politicians in New York, Massachusetts, California, and the like, I challenge you to place politics aside and stop hijacking your constituents’ rights. Get over yourselves and do the job you were elected to do. As for the future of SB 1156, it is in the hands of the Senate Rules Committee where a majority vote is required. Regardless of the final vote, it can be said that Arizona is still a rough and tough state with a “don’t mess with me” attitude.
Arizona, 1000 points for you.