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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Abrogation of an Ineffectual Congress

If “con” is the opposite of “pro,” then what is the opposite of “progress?” The answer, of course, is Con-gress. From the consumer newsletter, FACT Finder

Unfavorable Consumer Laws Can Be Repealed

It would appear that we may be headed toward the defeat of a Republican Congress that has busied itself the last several years in either passing legislation that benefits only an imperial presidency and big business, or completely thwarting any new law that would support consumers. Now, all that is left are the Democrats that have forgotten the main plank of their party: protecting individual rights. Once accomplished, we can move on to the repeal of recently enacted law that threatens the private lives of U.S. citizens.

The Abrogation of the Patriot Act

Right on the top of my list of bills to repeal is the USA Patriot Act, along with its recent amendment. No matter what constraints the latter put on snoops, they still have the right to pry into our inner sanctum at almost every level. Next, the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 that re-approved Bush’s NSA spying, and which now authorizes his electronic surveillance without a court order. The Financial Services Reform Bill passed in 1999, which allowed the financial business to share consumer information between affiliates and non-affiliates. There’s more, but you get the idea.

U.S. Law Can Be Repealed

Probably some of the most famous examples of abrogation were state racial laws restricting the rights of minorities that were repealed after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Even portions of a law can be repealed, leaving the rest intact. Black’s Law Dictionary cites two kinds of abrogation. One, enacting a subsequent statute, which declares that the former law shall be revoked, called “express” repeal. Two, the succeeding law carries provisions so contrary or reconcilable, which is called “implied” appeal.

Vote and Abrogate

First, you need to vote in November for the congressional representative that you feel will honor your right to privacy. I suggest you go to their web site(s) and see what kind of attitude they have toward consumer issues. If you don’t see a clear position, e-mail them and ask. Once we have elected a Congress compatible to the needs of individual rights, we can start hammering away to get some of this bad law off the books, and pass new bills that will deal with protecting our privacy. Here are the sites for contacting congressional leaders: House of Representatives; Senate.

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