STATE — Legislation supported by Assemblyman Joseph Cryan is being called an assault on civil rights.
“Assemblyman Joe Cryan is part of a cabal who want to pass legislation (A-3687) to allow government bureaucrats to suspend the Bill of Rights for people ‘suspected’ of having ‘terrorist links,’ writes blogger Rob Eichmann. ”This is quite a turn-around for the Cryan family, whose patriarch – former Essex County Sheriff John Cryan – once campaigned to get suspected IRA ‘terrorists’ off watch lists.”
Eichmann also wrote, “Nobody knows exactly how someone gets on the list and it is almost impossible to get off it once you are on.”
The bill supported by Cryan would stop anyone whose name appears on a terrorist watch list from obtaining a firearms purchase permit.
Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have condemned those lists because they are often created based on faulty evidence or hearsay.
The rights of American citizens have been increasingly under attack since the terrorist incident on September 11, 2001.
President Obama has signed into law National Defense Authorization acts that that would allow military forces to indefinitely detain US citizens without filimg charges or giving prisoners access to the courts.
A similar controversy arose after a Department of Justice memo Stevens at the White House could legally order the assassination of anyone including an American citizen without a warrant or having to explain its action.
The ACLU says that terrorist watch lists contain the names of more than 1 million people including many who have no way of proving their innocence.
Civil libertarians assert that such lists violate the core tenant of democracy which states people are innocent until proven guilty.
While the legislation was produced in response to the mass shooting at a school in Connecticut, critics argue that giving the government ability to abuse its power will interfere with the enactment of common sense measures to curb gun violence.