Law Students Against Unlimited War Powers sign now

Dear Members of Congress,

We, the undersigned, are law students writing to voice our alarm at the current administrations misrepresentations of the law in its attempt to justify blatant violations of civil liberties and executive expansion. Even as law students, we can see that the administrations claim of limitless executive power, trumping all established safeguards, is without legal precedent or legitimacy.

The NSA program clearly violates specific criminal prohibitions and the separation of powers, and threatens our fundamental Fourth Amendment rights. It doesnt take a law degree to see that the administrations baseless legal justifications not only harm our safety but threaten the integrity of our democracy itself. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this scandal is the fact that, as the Attorney General has testified there are still aspects of the program that remain unknown and unaccounted for.

We are especially disturbed that the administrations legal analysis of its Article II powers has no limiting principle. In five years we have seen the administrations legal advisors attempt to justify torture, domestic spying, detention without charge, extraordinary rendition, and the concealment of public documentsall in the context of a war without end. These legal analyses have led directly to morally reprehensible policies that have violated the rights of innocent citizens and foreigners alike and damaged the credibility of the United States. Perversely, these policies have injured our national security as resources are poured into ill-defined and ineffective surveillance that has netted no terror suspects.

This is not a partisan issue, and the choice between freedom and security is a false one. Indeed, the ABA has already joined some of the nations most respected law scholars, both liberal and conservative, in calling on the President to respect the Constitutions separation of powers. Patriotism does not mean blind obedience in the face of the consistent violation of the laws and values that have made our country great in times of war and peace alike. If we do not counter this campaign of fear and lies, our country will be irrevocably altered and we will have more to fear than foreign enemies.

It is for these reasons that we call on law students, lawyers, and all citizens to reject the specious and dangerous claims of the administration and stand up for Americas laws and ideals. We call on the President to respect the limits placed on the executive branch by the Constitution and the powers of Congress. We call on Congress to oppose any further domestic electronic surveillance that does not comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Finally, we call on Congress to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and free expression and to oppose efforts by the executive branch to undermine American values and the rule of law.

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Rosalie CarpenterBy:
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