Yet Another Reason to Vote Against Dennis Rehberg: His Disrespect for the Constitution

Shares

Throughout his flip-flopping career, Representative Dennis Rehberg has certainly taken a number of positions on the civil liberties enjoyed by Americans. He championed a draconian REAL ID Act before realizing it was politically unpopular back home. He repeatedly voted for the obscene USA-Patriot Act before realizing that Montanans aren’t going to stand for clear violations of the Bill of Rights.

But while he changed his mind on these two votes, Dennis never seems to learn the important lesson: that the Bill of Rights should not be violated because of a moment’s panic or fear. He keeps returning to the well, putting our civil liberties at risk over and over again.

In recent months, he voted to support a massive expansion of the federal government’s power on our northern border.

And today he voted to reauthorize the sweeping electronic surveillance authorized by the FISA Act, threatening the civil liberties of Americans in exactly the same way the Patriot Act did, authorizing warrantless searches and surveillance of electronic conversations.

Montanans of all political stripes value our right to lead our lives free of unnecessary government intrusion. Maybe Representative Rehberg will eventually vote the right way on FISA, like he finally did on REAL ID and the Patriot Act, but wouldn’t it be better to have someone who will get it right in the first place?

Don’t believe me that this was a bad vote? Ask the libertarians at the CATO Institute:

In short, the supporters of the FISA Amendments Act appear to misunderstand both what the law they just voted for actually does, and what broader defects in our intelligence system present the most serious risks to national security. If you’re wondering why we don’t have better intelligence policy, it’s not that hard to connect the dots.

Ask the ACLU:

Yet again, the House has rubberstamped a law so broad and vague that, despite its passage four years ago, we still have little idea how the government is using it. It is at the very heart of the Fourth Amendment that Americans and their communications are fiercely protected from government intrusion. This law should be amended to include much stronger privacy protections when the Senate takes it up later this year.”

Ask the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) of 2008 gave the NSA expansive power to spy on Americans’ international email and telephone calls. However, last month, in a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, a government official publicly disclosed that the NSA’s surveillance had gone even further than what the law permits, with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) issuing at least one ruling calling the NSA’s actions unconstitutional. The government further disclosed that the FISC had determined the government’s surveillance violated the spirit of the law on at least one occasion, as well. EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeks disclosure of any written opinions or orders from FISC discussing illegal government surveillance, as well as any briefings to Congress about those violations.

If you appreciate our efforts to hold Montana Republicans accountable and the independent journalism here at The Montana Post, please consider supporting our work with a small pledge.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

9
Leave a Reply

avatar
3 Comment threads
6 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
Larry Kralj, Environmental RangersSheryl SmallMoorcatNorma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)Brigham Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Brigham
Guest
Brigham

Yes, Denny is bad. But if you want to talk about disrespect for the constitution, Max Baucus is far worse than Rehberg. Not only is Baucus a worse vote in general on civil rights, but Baucus could have single-handedly stopped FISA and single-handedly stopped the retroactive immunity for FISA illegality. Denny hasn’t been supportive of rights until recently. But nobody in Montana’s congressional delegation — in the history of the state — has been worse on rights than Max Baucus. He doesn’t even allow you to write him about the topic on his website. He has nothing but contempt for… Read more »

Sheryl Small
Guest
Sheryl Small

We can go after Max next time he is up for re-election. Maybe he will have sense enough to retire.

Norma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)
Guest

YOu always go after Max but he has done more for human rights then just about anyone in the senate, Sorry Bob But I have to again disagree. ? Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record ? Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record ? Rated 86% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. ? Rated 86% by UFCW, indicating an anti-management/pro-labor record. ?Rated 91% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes ? Rated 75% by APHA, indicating a pro-public health record. ? Rated 80% by SANE, indicating a pro-peace voting record. I… Read more »

Brigham
Guest
Brigham

First, this was a post on the Constitution and specifically FISA. Which Max Baucus supported and allowed retroactive immunity for people who broke the law — something he could have single-handedly stopped. The only reason this post isn’t academic is because Max Baucus not only voted for the bill, but got people a Get Out of Jail Free card for people who had clearly violated the law. And this is a deal breaker issue, that’s why Don is pointing out the Constitution in the headline. Because Max Baucus took an oath to defend the Constitution and even just this issue… Read more »

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Guest
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Norma, drop me a line at [email protected]

I have missed your comments at Cgirl’s site.

Moorcat
Guest

As you pointed out, the article was on the Constitution. What you failed to remember, though, is that the article was about Rehberg, not Baucus. Do I need to remind you that Baucus isn’t running for reelection this year? Rehberg is actively engaged in trying to take Sen Tester’s seat – a campaign Tester will win, BTW. Your attempt to redirect the argument to Baucus was weak-sauce at best. When Baucus is up for reelection, then talk about Baucus – hell, I even agree with some of what you say and won’t be voting for Baucus again. Unfortunately for you,… Read more »

Brigham
Guest
Brigham

The “he isn’t running for re-election this year” defense is never a valid argument, but especially absurd with Baucus running campaign ads *this* cycle.

Still, glad you won’t be voting for him.

Norma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)
Guest

Bob, I don’t mind you having an Opinion. But Mine says your wrong. We can agree to disagree on Max anyday. Rehberg on the other hand, will tell out right lies to your Face, as he did to me and 8 of my friends who visited him in DC. According to Denny: Gun-Running Criminals, and Asian Sex slaves are sneaking into Montana through Glacier National Park via Canada. That’s why we need his border bill. The Irony of his foul statement is Breathtaking, especially since America sells more guns then any other nation over the table…. and most Montanans already… Read more »

Moorcat
Guest

You go ahead and keep tilting at the Windmill of Baucus. The rest of us adults will discuss the candidates that are actually running this year.

Support Our Work!

Poll

What would be the most appropriate nickname for Matt Rosendale?

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe Via E-mail

0 /* ]]> */