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Montana Protests PATRIOT Act

Montana’s role in this movement is significant because it’s the only state in the continental United States, west of the Mississippi River, that has passed a formal resolution adamantly opposing provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, which citizens and legislators believe subverts civil rights granted by the U.S. Constitution.

Montana is a red state which voted by a 3-2 margin to re-elect George W. Bush. Paul Edwards, a citizen leader of the Red State Rebellion from Helena said, “Here we are in this sea of red and we’re saying ‘No’ to the Bush Administration’s USA PATRIOT Act.”

Montana Resolution 19, passed the State House (87-12) and State Senate (40-10) by resounding margins in both parties. The Resolution, regarded as the toughest passed anywhere to date, made its way through the entire legislative process without amendment.

Members of the Montana House and Senate who voted against the Resolution were described by Paul Edwards as those who favor Bush mandates over federal and state Constitutional rights. Edwards characterized opponents as, “sold-out, valueless politicians with mindless, unswerving loyalty to the Bush regime.” ~Karyn Strickler

Congratulations to the legislators of Montana who have joined the burgeoning movement to reject those most heinous and intrusive parts of the PATRIOT Act. Occasions such as this briefly encourage me to think that, at least in some parts of “conservative” America, there might still be more than a few people truly committed to our Constitution and the traditions of this country. It would have been rather more inspiring, though, if the resolution had not been organised by a county vice chairman of the Democratic Party. Still, the measure passed by huge margins, drawing support from the local GOP as well, and that has to be slightly encouraging for all friends of ordered liberty and disheartening for the forces of consolidation, hegemony and hubris.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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