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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Thursday, July 26, 2007

JOHN DOE UPDATE

The John Doe provision has been returned to the Homeland Security Bill. Democrats under pressure from the trial lawyers lobby had removed the provision from the final bill. The out cry from the public was so great that last night Democrats were forced to return the provision back to the bill before final passage.

In the comment section of yesterdays post about the John Doe provision there were some misconceptions concerning what this amendment entails. It was suggested that someone angry with their spouse or just irritated at an airport could report, suspicious activity and be immune from, "prosecution."

This is not what this provision is designed to do. It protects someone who reports suspicious activity from being sued by those reported. If the report is found to be with malice toward a spouse for example or just a malicious report because one is irritated or angry, the same Constitutional laws that protect against false accusation or imprisonment apply.

Those reporting suspicious activity are not, "immune from prosecutions, " for maliciously making a false police report but only from being sued for doing ones civic duty and reporting genuine suspicious terrorist related activity.

Bottom line, the provision is law because once again the voice of the people has prevailed. A voice, I might add that, "we the people, " must use more often to make Washington accountable as was intent ed by the Founders!

Ken Taylor

WEEKLY PICTURE GALLERY BELOW

18 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

Thanks for the info Ken. But I still don't understand how that helps get more credible tips. A person who sees something suspicious will report it. I don't think the fear of being sued by someone who is doing something suspicious stops anyone from reporting that suspicious behavior. I know it wouldn't stop me.

However, if someone makes a false claim about a stranger that they are angry with for whatever reason, that innocent stranger has no recourse except to sue the government for a civil rights violation, false detention, etc.

The government is not going to charge the informant with a crime because they would have to prove that the claim was spurrious and without merit. This is a very difficult case to make because it requires one to get into the mind of the informant. What one person thinks is suspicious, another person may think is harmless.

On the other hand, I can see innocent targets of suspicion complaining that that their lives are damaged and suing the government to prove that they were investigated for good cause.

If the government has evidence that the claim was false and does charge the informant with providing bad info, they will be admitting that the target should not have been stopped, searched, etc. This will be an admission on the part of the government that the target should not have been stopped. It will clearly open up the government to liability and damages. That said, what is more likely is that the government won't charge the informant with anything, and will try to make the case that the target was being suspicious.

Bad law all around.

12:43 PM, July 26, 2007  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Rob, it works like whistle blower laws in the job place. Those laws are desigend to protect workers who see or hear of activity that threatens or is detrimental to their employer, work environment and also allows for reporting to the Labor Board without the threat of recrimination.

The John Doe provision works exactly same through Homeland Security. It protects telling of suspicious activity without the threat of law suit.

Most people are not like you and I. If I see something that I bbeleive is a threat to my country or endangers peoples safety, I will reprot it regardless of whether I can be sued or not.

Most fear the threat of lawa suit more than they do the possiblity of terrorist.

Remember the test cases in NYC and other large cities where crimes were staged to test if people would help or report the crime ? In most instances because they were afraid of being sued the pretent crimes were ignored.

That is the danger of not protecting those who inform of suspicious activity especially when the case if the Imams is getting so much play in the media.

Even if the cases are thrown out in court those that informed face financial destruction trying to defend the law suit.

4:26 PM, July 26, 2007  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Ken,

Congress has gone completely insane!

They want to take away every single friggen measure that would help in securing this Country's saftey.

The Patriot Act, Data Mining, The Terrorist Surveillance Program, and now this?

What has happened to the Democrats? Dont they give a rats ass if we get attacked again?

7:28 PM, July 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mullah cimoc say blogman him just slave for master in tel aviv.

so obedient slave boy. how many him pro-israel sympanthy movie watching in him life this dumb and foolish boy gay.

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1. How long israeli survive without usa triubte payment each year? A: maybe one year, maybe one months.

2. Am usa public opinion important for get congress pay the tribute? A: yes, not so important him bribe but still important.

3. am intel malpractice for him israeli spy and agent not controlling usa media for make ameriki sympathy? A: yes, him israeli intel work for israeli not like usa intel which also work for israeli.

4. How israeli agent him controlling usa public opinion this question of slave of master in tel aviv? A: read, inside the company, a cia diary by phillip agee for learn basic.

for all this reason neocon spy him trickameriki for kill and torture him muslim and the mass murder iraki. faking the wmd intel and controlling the executive of ameriki.

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also: usa woman become the slut if take LBT (low back tattoo). Ameriki father need protect him daughters.

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8:44 PM, July 26, 2007  
Blogger Concerned Citizen said...

Who or what the FRAK was that last commentor. Sniffs like a bot to me. If it was not then it was a blithering idiot troll.

My God. My brain hurts just looking at that diatrabe.

On the point of the bill, good. There has to be protection such as this or just like the Imams on that flight in Cali, they will stage events where they get reported and then cause all kinds of havoc suing everyone and their dogs.

11:38 AM, July 27, 2007  
Blogger Gayle said...

LOL! It made my brain hurt too, CC. I don't think it's a bot. I believe it was a Muslim who needs to learn English before writing comments on American blogs. LOL! That was really bad!

Ken, you're absolutely right. There are many people who would be intimidated by that law and would not report suspicious activity unless they actually see someone carrying a bomb! Congress seems to be turning against America. This is also something that hurts my brain!

9:10 AM, July 29, 2007  
Blogger MDConservative said...

Rob,
I think you are wrong and that this bill is indeed a good one. Liberals want laws to protect EVERYTHING under the sun from gay rights to abortion (murder) rights. But when it comes to protecting people that want to help in this war... nope can't have that!

As for that crazy post, it is some jackass American USA hater. He slips in is purposeful screwups from time to time. And how many people in Russia or where ever he is supposed to be really go off on a topic like this and think about "1984"? Please nice try nut.

11:04 AM, July 29, 2007  
Blogger Rob said...

Look, any American who fails to report suspicious activity because they are afraid of being sued is a coward.

After reading more about it, the John Doe provision does not prevent one from being sued. Here is the language of the bill:

"Any person who, in good faith and based on objectively reasonable suspicion, makes or causes to be made, a voluntary report of covered activity to an authorized official shall be immune from civil liability under federal, state and local law for such report."

Someone could still sue, and then the lawyers and a judge would have to fight out what "objectively reasonable suspicion" is. If it is determined that the behavior was not suspicious, the tipster can still be sued. So, it really doesn't change anything.

You cannot legislate morality, ethics, concern for other citizens, and love of country. Either people are going to report the behavior or not. They are not going to worry about getting sued.

12:39 PM, July 29, 2007  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Rob: When will you learn an ounce of common sense?

7:39 PM, July 29, 2007  
Blogger Rob said...

Mike, are you one of those cowardly people who won't report suspicious behavior because you are so worried about getting sued?

I happen to believe in the inherent courage and common sense of the American people. As such, I don't think the law will make any difference in terms of encouraging people to report suspicious behavior.

For that reason, we don't need the law. And, for the reasons I have stated above, it does not prevent one from getting sued.

9:55 PM, July 29, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Rob, the U.S. Spreme Court has already defined reasonable suspicion in law enforcement activity, and I think the same standard would apply in this case.

Seeing as we have Americans being sued already for something like this, I think we do need the law. How about the cleaners which incurred 100K in legal expenses to defend against a frivolous lawsuit over a pair of pants? Sure they won, but at what cost?

In this case, I shouldn't have to endure a similar experience for being responsible and reporting something. I think we do need the law.

10:50 PM, July 29, 2007  
Blogger Rob said...

We'll see if it makes a difference. I still doubt that Americans worry about getting sued when reporting suspicious behavior.

Robert, attorney fees are not eliminated by the law. If a tipster were sued, they would still have to prove that their report to authorities was "based on objectively reasonable suspicion." This would likely result in hiring a lawyer.

11:31 PM, July 29, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Possibly true, but this could be resolved at a preliminary hearing where the case is thrown out and the attorney's fees were only a few hundred dollars for s single court appearance.

Most Americans do not worry about it, I agree. It won't hurt at all to prevent them from learning the hard way.

9:31 PM, July 31, 2007  
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