With ever growing political pressure to forsake due process in order to do something, some elected officials are standing tall in Congress. Despite the mass hysteria on the left and right following the tragedy in Florida, several members of Congress have remained level-headed and fought to protect the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is the latest to join the the liberty Republicans in the fight against legislation preventing individuals on terrorism watch lists from purchasing guns. Ryan, like Senator Rand Paul, noted that Omar Mateen — the Orlando shooter — was not on a watch list, and “no fly, no buy” would not have prevented the tragedy.
“We want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again… But as we look at how to proceed, we also want to make sure that we’re not infringing upon people’s legitimate constitutional rights,” Ryan said during a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday. “Is going after the Second Amendment how you stop terrorism? No.”
Liberty Republican star Rand Paul has consistently opposed secret lists that lack due process . After Orlando, Paul was left wondering why the FBI investigation into Mateen was closed. “You make mistakes, we all make mistakes,” Paul said. “It’s not really something where I’m saying ‘the FBI did a rotten job when they closed this,’ but shouldn’t we at least ask: What would have happened had the investigation stayed open?”
Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan echoed Paul’s sentiment towards violations of the Fifth Amendment on Twitter, writing on Thursday, “Amazing that U.S. Senators would filibuster in favor of using secret lists, like some authoritarian regime, to deny rights w/o due process.”
Likewise, Congressman Thomas Massie has continued his fight against warrantless surveillance backdoors that violate the Fourth Amendment. His proposal, jointly proposed with Democrat Zoe Lofgren, was rejected by the House in a narrow vote, 198-222. The roll call for that specific vote can be viewed here.
This list, of course is not exhaustive, but features the most high-profile outspoken advocates for the Bill of Rights after the Orlando tragedy. With both Donald Trump and the NRA caving on potential gun owner’s due process rights, the names above are becoming a part of an increasingly lonely minority.
While not an elected official per se, Gary Johnson has come out against both increased gun restriction and the use of secret lists to deny the purchase of arms to citizens. As of now, he is the only major candidate for president who has said “no” to infringements on constitutional rights after the Pulse Nightclub was attacked.