The #brexitvote is a rejection of centralized power and unaccountable bureaucracy, a sentiment widely shared by many Americans.
My colleagues and I on Judiciary Committee have already given our advice & consent on #SCOTUSnominee: We won't have any hearings or votes.
Pretending that the Orlando attack was simply a crime of gun violence is an exercise in willful denial and political theater. Ignoring it altogether is also not something we can or should do. But it is important to make clear, even when - and especially when - a tragedy like this prompts Congress or any legislative body to act, that we need to be very careful with how we act. In those moments when we are feeling the anxiety of an attack we need to be careful that the rights of our fellow Americans are not undermined as we try in our zeal, perhaps with the best intentions, to make sure that we do what we can to protect ourselves. We also have to remember that in Congress we don't vote for catchy slogans or memorable hashtags. When we vote, we vote on legislation - sophisticated legal text - that when not drafted with utmost care can very easily undermine fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. I am disappointed that two pieces of legislation we are considering in the Senate in response to the tragic shootings in Orlando, don't just undermine the 2nd Amendment - but the 4th and 5th Amendments as well. The legislation we are considering by Senator McCain would give law-enforcement agencies power to access Americans’ Internet browsing history and email metadata – which can be analyzed to reveal intimate details about a person’s life – without a warrant, without probable cause, and without judicial review by a federal court. Another piece of legislation we are considering by Senator Collins would deny Americans their Second Amendment rights based on a mere suspicion from the FBI that they are engaged in terrorist activity. The denial of a constitutional right should require more proof than a reasonable suspicion – a standard so low that it doesn’t even justify an arrest. We cannot sidestep the 2nd Amendment, the 4th Amendment, and the 5th Amendment just because something bad has happened. We are not the first generation of Americans to experience bad things and violence, and we are not the first generation of Americans who have understood that when we give government too much power in those circumstances, other bad things will happen. Americans’ constitutional rights are not nuisances that the government must accommodate. Protecting these rights is the reason that government exists.