The ACLU and the NRA: Compatible Bedfellows

Strange Bedfellows examines the unlikely but productive alliance between the NRA and the ACLU.

America’s love affair with the homeland security state is getting a little rocky. Republican Rep. C.L. “Butch” Otter of Idaho proposed an amendment to this year’s Commerce, Justice, and State funding bill that would order law enforcement agencies to stop using delayed-notification search warrants, one of the dubious measures enshrined in the Patriot Act of 2001. The amendment passed the House on July 22 by a vote of 309-118, with 113 Republicans voting in favor. A similar measure has yet to face a Senate vote, and it’s anybody’s guess whether the change would survive a presidential veto, but the Otter Amendment signals a clear direction in the nation’s mood.

The amendment seems to follow the lead of a growing grassroots movement on both the left and right opposing the Patriot Act and the so-called Patriot Act II. (The latter has not been introduced in Congress yet, but a Justice Department document outlining provisions for a new bill was leaked on February 7, causing much alarm among defenders of civil liberties.)

Backlash against the Patriot legislation has created a fantasyland of political concord: Gun Owners of America nodding in agreement with the American Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), with the Green Party happily concurring. Organizations across the political spectrum, from village councils to national advocacy groups, are going on record opposing this newest potential assault on Americans’ civil liberties.

Count NACDL in the group as well. We have been aligned with Second Amendment organizations for years even though we differ on some central issues. What matters most are those issues you do agree on because there is power in numbers.

Thanks to Patriot Watch for the link.

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