Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Security Chief Can Put Fence Wherever He Wants and a Tennessee Dem's Vote Helped Give Him That Power

In 2005 the U.S. Congress gave Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff the absolute power to determine where any fence needs to be built without regard to laws, courts, constitutional rights, or environmental hazards. Now comes word that the Sierra Club has filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging Chertoff's despotic waiver privilege. He has built controversial fencing in California and Arizona, and now he is aiming at Texas.

Bills abdicating check-and-balancing responsibilities to Chertoff were passed by the House of Representatives on two occasions: one as the Real ID act, which did not make it to the Senate, and the other as a rider on a military spending bill, which was passed into law by all 100 Senators. U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) voted for both the act and the rider.

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