Lawmakers like GOP congressman Trey Gowdy are why Americans have any rights left after seven years of Obama

( He’s a hero to American constitutionalists but he ought to be a hero to every American who enjoys what remain of our liberties and freedoms, because lawmakers like him are all that have stood in the way of President Obama’s authoritarianism.

His name is Rep. Trey Gowdy, and he’s a Republican from South Carolina. In recent days he demonstrated once again why he is beloved by conservatives fighting daily Leftist attempts to usurp our founding document and impose tyranny on the greatest democracy in the history of the planet.

During a hearing with officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the one-time federal prosecutor reminded them of the concept of due process – a cornerstone of American jurisprudence – and the importance of gun rights, as they pertain to the Second Amendment. In particular, Gowdy wanted to know more about the principle being floated by the administration that Americans on terrorist watch lists should be denied access to firearms, following the San Bernardino, Calif., terror attacks earlier this month.

“What process is afforded a U.S. citizen, not someone who’s overstayed a visa, not someone who crossed a border without permission, but an American citizen—what process is currently afforded an American citizen before they go on that list?” Gowdy asked DHS secretary Kelli Ann Burriesci at a House Oversight Committee hearing, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

“I’m sorry, um, there’s not a process afforded the citizen prior to getting on the list,” Burriesci said. “There is a process should someone feel they’re unduly placed on the list.”

“Yes, there is,” Gowdy said. “When I say ‘process’ I’m actually using half of the term ‘due process,’ which is a phrase we find in the Constitution, that you cannot deprive people of certain things without due process. So I understand [Center for American Progress fellow Ken Gude]’s idea, which is to wait until your right has been taken from you and then you can petition the government to get it back. I understand that that’s his idea.”

“My question is, can you name another constitutional right we have that is chilled until you find out it’s chilled, and then you have to petition the government to get it back? Is that true with the First Amendment?”

The DHS official then attempted, weakly, to explain the criteria for being placed on a government watch list, but she was cut off by Gowdy.

“My question is what process is afforded a United States citizen before that person’s constitutional right is infringed. [Gude] is fine with doing it with the Second Amendment. My question is how about the First?”

Gowdy then asked if there were additional constitutional rights DHS might be comfortable infringing upon without due process.

“How about we not let them set up a website?” he asked. “Or a Google account? How about we not let them join a church until they can petition government to get off the list? How about not get a lawyer? How about the Sixth Amendment? How about you can’t get a lawyer until you petition the government to get off the list? Or, my favorite, how about the Eighth Amendment? We’re going to subject you to cruel and unusual punishment until you petition the government to get off the list.”

“Is there another constitutional right that we treat the same way, for American citizens, that we do the Second Amendment?” Gowdy asked. “Can you think of one?”

She could not – and Gowdy’s time for questioning expired.

The point should be well-taken by any American concerned about government overreach, regardless of which political party controls the White House and, as such, the vast federal bureaucracy: If a policy – any policy – runs afoul of the Constitution’s basic and inalienable rights and protections, it should be identified, scrutinized and opposed.

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Washington Free Beacon






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