Sign on for the Bill of Rights

After the Patriot Act became law, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) began a national campaign to get cities, counties and states to stand up for the Constitution.

Thanks to the determined efforts of this small but remarkably effective group, more than 400 communities and eight states have passed resolutions declaring their support for restoring protections guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.

The BORDC is still fighting the good fight. This week, the Massachusetts-based group i sounding the alarm against congressional moves to undermine 4th amendment privacy rights.

But the BORDC is not satisfied to simply play defense.

"At BORDC, we know many of our subscribers are outraged at the number of times their legislators have given in to fear mongering and supported freedom-robbing legislation because they believe voters are willing to give up their freedoms for a promise (a hollow promise!) of greater security," BORDC director Nancy Talanian and her colleagues explain.

"Responding to Congress's ongoing unconstitutional actions can often feel tiring and ineffective. Join the People's Campaign for the Constitution so that together the grassroots can set our government's agenda and hold our government accountable to the constitutional principles upon which it was founded."

The People's Campaign for the Constitution seeks to bring together all groups and individuals -- right and left, Republican and Democrat, Libertarian and Green, independent and partisan -- who are concerned about renewing the rule of law to a country where it has been severely threatened by executive arrogance and legislative lethargy. "Fighting against one violation at a time fragments our movement," the BORDC says. "It is time to unite to face the common source of these problems."

Something of a national debut will come July 4, when Bill of Rights Defense Committee plans to purchase a half-page advertisement in the New York Times to sound the call for Constitutional renewal. I've signed on and I hope that readers of The Nation will join in this essential effort to raise the profile of our struggle to renew civil liberties in a time of warrantless wiretapping, torture, signing statements and all the other evidences of kingly arrogance in the executive branch of what is supposed to be a republic.

To learn more about how you can support this new declaration of faith in America's founding principles, visit the committee's Web site and sign on for the Constitution.

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written The Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Copyright (c) 2008 The Nation

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