Individual Rights & Personal Freedoms
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” - Declaration of Independence, 1776
The government of the United States was created to protect the God-given rights of the people, from our First Amendment rights to free speech and religious freedom, to our Second Amendment right to bear arms, to our rights to hold private property and be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.
Our rights come from God, not the government. I believe we must guard these God-given freedoms against infringement, whether that infringement is at the hands of other individuals or the government.
I support the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (H.R. 2168), which declares that the government must have probable cause and a warrant before it can track a citizen’s location using tracking devices.
I voted against the Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2012 because it contained language that would permit the military, at the President's discretion, to detain American citizens on American soil indefinitely and without due process. This is wrong. I believe that anytime a U.S. citizen is suspected of engaging in crime, he or she should have the benefit of the protections granted in the U.S. Constitution, and not be subject to an expedited detention process. While I strongly support the military and its continued fight against terrorism, I had to oppose the NDAA Conference Report for these reasons.
I support the Private Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1433), which protects against abuses of state and local eminent domain authority. This legislation prohibits the use of eminent domain to take property from one private citizen and give it to another. Many states have attempted these types of power grabs following the infamous Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London, which held that eminent domain could be used for economic development purposes.
I support the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 822), which protects the Second Amendment right of individuals to bear arms regardless of which state they are traveling through or visiting, as long as the individual complies with firearms laws of that state.
The new health care law and its implementing regulations contain a laundry list of provisions that limit the Constitutional rights of Americans. That is why I support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179), which allows providers of health plans to deny coverage of services or procedures that violate the providers’ religious beliefs. It is also why I support the Reclaiming Individual Liberty Act (H.R. 21), which repeals the individual mandate in the new health care law that requires all Americans to buy health insurance.
I have also submitted a legal brief to the Supreme Court urging it to find the health care law and the individual mandate unconstitutional.