Friday, May 26, 2006

Should congress members be exempt from search laws that apply to the rest of us?

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

William F. Buckley, in his article "Cold Cash", maintains that assertions by Pelosi and Hastert that the search of Rep. William Jefferson's office was unconstitutional are a real stretch. An excerpt:

...stare down hard at the language. The Constitution holds that lawmakers are "privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same."

That provision was intended to protect legislators from arrest for statements made in the course of their legislative duties. This has nothing to do with Mr. Jefferson's case. Which means that those who say that the FBI should not have had access to the congressman's home or office are extending that constitutional provision to the point of immunity from search.

Most Americans believe profoundly in extending to reasonable lengths the ancient premise that one's home is one's castle. For that reason the executive branch is prohibited from searching an individual's premises except when authorized to do so by a judge. Needed for success here is persuasive evidence that the citizen being searched has committed a crime. There seems to have been no question that the FBI persuasively made its case for proceeding to conduct the searches. And of course, retrospectively, the FBI's suspicions were validated...

(Bold emphasis mine) You can read the entire article HERE.


Dionne said...

Great post!!!!!!

Chas said...

William F. Buckley summed it up well at the end of his article:

"...there is nothing in the Constitution that protects a tax cheat."

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, Chas!