Alberto R. Gonzales is an American lawyer who served as the 80th United States Attorney General, appointed in February 2005 by President George W. Bush, becoming the highest-ranking Hispanic American in executive government to date, he was the first Hispanic to serve as White House Counsel. Earlier he had been Bush's General Counsel during his governorship of Texas. Gonzales had served as Secretary of State of Texas and as a Texas Supreme Court Justice. Gonzales's tenure as U. S. Attorney General was marked by controversy regarding warrantless surveillance of U. S. citizens and the legal authorization of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" generally acknowledged as constituting torture, in the U. S. government's post-9/11 "War on Terror". Gonzales had presided over the firings of several U. S. Attorneys who had refused back-channel White House directives to prosecute political enemies causing the office of Attorney General to become improperly politicized. Following calls for his removal, Gonzales resigned from the office "in the best interests of the department," on August 27, 2007, effective September 17, 2007.
In 2008, Gonzales began consulting practice. Additionally, he taught a political science course and served as a diversity recruiter at Texas Tech University. Gonzales is the Dean of Belmont University College of Law, in Nashville, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Separation of Powers, National Security Law and First Amendment Law, he was Of Counsel at a Nashville-based law firm, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP where he advised clients on special matters, government investigations and regulatory matters. He writes opinion pieces for national newspapers and appears on national news programs. Alberto Gonzales was born to a Catholic family in San Antonio and raised in Humble, a town outside of Houston. Of Mexican descent, he was the second of eight children born to Pablo M. Gonzales, his father, who died in 1982, was a migrant worker and a construction worker with a second grade education. His mother had a sixth grade education. Gonzales and his family of ten lived in a small, two-bedroom home built by his father and uncles with no telephone and no hot running water.
According to Gonzales, he is unaware whether immigration documentation exists for three of his grandparents who were born in Mexico and may have entered and resided in the United States illegally. An honors student at MacArthur High School in unincorporated Harris County, Gonzales enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1973, for a four-year term of enlistment, he served one year at a remote radar site with 100 other GIs at Alaska. He was released from active duty to attend the USAFA Prep School after which he received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Prior to beginning his third year at the academy, which would have caused him to incur a further service obligation, he left the Academy and was released from the enlistment contract, he transferred to Rice University in Houston. He went on to be selected as the Charles Parkhill Scholar of Political Science and was awarded a bachelor's degree with honors in political science in 1979, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1982.
Gonzales has been married twice: he and his first wife, Diane Clemens, divorced in 1985. Gonzales was an attorney in private practice from 1982 until 1994 with the Houston law firm Vinson and Elkins, where he became a partner – one of the first Hispanic partners in its history – and where he worked with corporate clients. In 1994, he was named general counsel to then-Texas Governor George W. Bush, rising to become Secretary of State of Texas in 1997 and subsequently named to the Texas Supreme Court in 1999, both appointments made by Governor Bush. Gonzales won his election bid to remain on the court in the Republican Primary in 2000, was subsequently elected to a full six-year term on the State Supreme Court in the November 2000 general election. Gonzales has been active in the community, serving as board director or committee member for several non-profit organizations between 1985 and 1994. In the legal sphere Gonzales provided pro bono legal services to the Host Committee for the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston, acted as a board director for the State Bar of Texas from 1991 to 1994, was board trustee of the Texas Bar Foundation from 1996 to 1999.
He has received numerous professional honors, including the Presidential Citation from the State Bar of Texas in 1997 for his dedication to addressing basic legal needs of the indigent. In 1999, he was named Latino Lawyer of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association. Between 2002 and 2003, Gonzales was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Rice University and received the Harvard Law School Association Award, John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute Outstanding Texas Leader Award, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President's Award, League of United Latin American Citizens President's Award, the Gary L. McPherson Distinguished Alumni Award from the American Council of Young Political Leaders, the Chairman's Leadership Award from the Texas Association of Mexican American Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund's Truinfador Award, the Hispanic Hero Award from the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, the Good Neighbor Award from the United States-Mexican Chamber of Commerce, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Travis County, Texas Republican Party.
In 2004, Gonzales was honored with the Exemplary Leader Award by the Houston American L
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. Bush was born in New Haven and grew up in Texas. After graduating from Yale University in 1968 and Harvard Business School in 1975, he worked in the oil industry. Bush married Laura Welch in 1977 and unsuccessfully ran for the U. S. House of Representatives shortly thereafter, he co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team before defeating Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. Bush was elected President of the United States in 2000 when he defeated Democratic incumbent Vice President Al Gore after a close and controversial win that involved a stopped recount in Florida, he became the fourth person to be elected president while receiving fewer popular votes than his opponent. Bush is a member of a prominent political family and is the eldest son of Barbara and George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States.
He is only the second president to assume the nation's highest office after his father, following the footsteps of John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams. His brother Jeb Bush, a former Governor of Florida, was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2016 presidential election, his paternal grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a U. S. Senator from Connecticut; the September 11 terrorist attacks occurred eight months into Bush's first term. Bush responded with what became known as the Bush Doctrine: launching a "War on Terror", an international military campaign that included the war in Afghanistan in 2001 and the Iraq War in 2003, he signed into law broad tax cuts, the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, Medicare prescription drug benefits for seniors, funding for the AIDS relief program known as PEPFAR. His tenure included national debates on immigration, Social Security, electronic surveillance, torture. In the 2004 presidential race, Bush defeated Democratic Senator John Kerry in another close election.
After his re-election, Bush received heated criticism from across the political spectrum for his handling of the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, other challenges. Amid this criticism, the Democratic Party regained control of Congress in the 2006 elections. In December 2007, the United States entered its longest post-World War II recession referred to as the "Great Recession", prompting the Bush administration to obtain congressional passage of multiple economic programs intended to preserve the country's financial system. Nationally, Bush was both one of the most popular and unpopular U. S. presidents in history, having received the highest recorded presidential approval ratings in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, as well as one of the lowest approval ratings during the 2008 financial crisis. Bush finished his term in office in 2009 and returned to Texas, where he had purchased a home in Dallas. In 2010, he published Decision Points, his presidential library was opened in 2013. His presidency has been ranked among the worst in historians' polls that were published in the late 2000s and 2010s.
However, his favorability ratings with the public have improved after leaving office. George Walker Bush was born on July 6, 1946, at Yale–New Haven Hospital in New Haven, while his father was a student at Yale, he was his wife, Barbara Pierce. He was raised in Midland and Houston, with four siblings, Neil and Dorothy. Another younger sister, died from leukemia at the age of three in 1953, his grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a U. S. Senator from Connecticut, his father was Ronald Reagan's vice president from 1981 to 1989 and the 41st U. S. president from 1989 to 1993. Bush has English and some German ancestry, along with more distant Dutch, Irish and Scottish roots. Bush attended public schools in Midland, until the family moved to Houston after he had completed seventh grade, he spent two years at The Kinkaid School, a prep school in Piney Point Village in the Houston area. Bush attended high school at Phillips Academy, a boarding school in Andover, where he played baseball and was the head cheerleader during his senior year.
He attended Yale University from 1964 to 1968. During this time, he was a cheerleader and a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon, serving as the president of the fraternity during his senior year. Bush became a member of the Skull and Bones society as a senior. Bush was a rugby union player and was on Yale's 1st XV, he characterized himself as an average student. His GPA during his first three years at Yale was 77, he had a similar average under a nonnumeric rating system in his final year. In the fall of 1973, Bush entered Harvard Business School, he graduated in 1975 with an MBA degree. He is the only U. S. president to have earned an MBA. Bush was engaged to Cathryn Lee Wolfman in 1967, but the engagement fizzled out. Bush and Wolfman remained on good terms after the end of the relationship. While Bush was at a backyard barbecue in 1977, friends introduced him to Laura Welch, a schoolteacher and librarian. After a three-month courtship, she accepted his marriage proposal and they wed on November 5 of that year.
The couple settled in Texas. Bush left his family's Episcopal Church to join his wife's United Methodist Church. On November 25, 1981, Laura Bush gave birth to fraternal twin daughters and Jenna. Prior to getting married, Bush struggled with multiple episodes of alcohol abuse. In one instance on September 4, 1976, he was pulled over near his fami
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U. S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration; the Department of Justice administers several federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration. The department is responsible for investigating instances of financial fraud, representing the United States government in legal matters, running the federal prison system; the department is responsible for reviewing the conduct of local law enforcement as directed by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The department is headed by the United States Attorney General, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet.
The current Attorney General is William Barr. The office of the Attorney General was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789 as a part-time job for one person, but grew with the bureaucracy. At one time, the Attorney General gave legal advice to the U. S. Congress as well as the President, but in 1819 the Attorney General began advising Congress alone to ensure a manageable workload; until March 3, 1853, the salary of the Attorney General was set by statute at less than the amount paid to other Cabinet members. Early Attorneys General supplemented their salaries by running private law practices arguing cases before the courts as attorneys for paying litigants. Following unsuccessful efforts to make Attorney General a full-time job, in 1869, the U. S. House Committee on the Judiciary, led by Congressman William Lawrence, conducted an inquiry into the creation of a "law department" headed by the Attorney General and composed of the various department solicitors and United States attorneys. On February 19, 1868, Lawrence introduced a bill in Congress to create the Department of Justice.
President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill into law on June 22, 1870. Grant appointed Amos T. Akerman as Attorney General and Benjamin H. Bristow as America's first Solicitor General the same week that Congress created the Department of Justice; the Department's immediate function was to preserve civil rights. It set about fighting against domestic terrorist groups, using both violence and litigation to oppose the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments to the Constitution. Both Akerman and Bristow used the Department of Justice to vigorously prosecute Ku Klux Klan members in the early 1870s. In the first few years of Grant's first term in office there were 1000 indictments against Klan members with over 550 convictions from the Department of Justice. By 1871, there were 3000 indictments and 600 convictions with most only serving brief sentences while the ringleaders were imprisoned for up to five years in the federal penitentiary in Albany, New York; the result was a dramatic decrease in violence in the South.
Akerman gave credit to Grant and told a friend that no one was "better" or "stronger" than Grant when it came to prosecuting terrorists. George H. Williams, who succeeded Akerman in December 1871, continued to prosecute the Klan throughout 1872 until the spring of 1873 during Grant's second term in office. Williams placed a moratorium on Klan prosecutions because the Justice Department, inundated by cases involving the Klan, did not have the manpower to continue prosecutions; the "Act to Establish the Department of Justice" drastically increased the Attorney General's responsibilities to include the supervision of all United States Attorneys under the Department of the Interior, the prosecution of all federal crimes, the representation of the United States in all court actions, barring the use of private attorneys by the federal government. The law created the office of Solicitor General to supervise and conduct government litigation in the Supreme Court of the United States. With the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887, the federal government took on some law enforcement responsibilities, the Department of Justice tasked with performing these.
In 1884, control of federal prisons was transferred to the new department, from the Department of Interior. New facilities were built, including the penitentiary at Leavenworth in 1895, a facility for women located in West Virginia, at Alderson was established in 1924. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order which gave the Department of Justice responsibility for the "functions of prosecuting in the courts of the United States claims and demands by, offsenses against, the Government of the United States, of defending claims and demands against the Government, of supervising the work of United States attorneys and clerks in connection therewith, now exercised by any agency or officer..." The U. S. Department of Justice building was completed in 1935 from a design by Milton Bennett Medary. Upon Medary's death in 1929, the other partners of his Philadelphia firm Zantzinger and Medary took over the project. On a lot bordered by Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues and Ninth and Tenth Streets, Northwest, it holds over 1,000,000 square feet of space.
The sculptor C. Paul Jennewein served as overall design consultant for the entire building, contributing more than 50 separate sculptural elements inside and outside. Various efforts, none successful, have been made to determine the original intended meaning of the Latin motto appearing on the Department of Justice s
Dangerous goods, abbreviated DG, are items or substances that when transported are a risk to health, property or the environment. Hazardous materials are substances, liquids, or gases that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment, more specifically. Hazardous materials are subject to chemical regulations. Hazmat teams are personnel specially trained to handle dangerous goods, which include materials that are radioactive, explosive, oxidizing, biohazardous, pathogenic, or allergenic. Included are physical conditions such as compressed gases and liquids or hot materials, including all goods containing such materials or chemicals, or may have other characteristics that render them hazardous in specific circumstances. In the United States, dangerous goods are indicated by diamond-shaped signage on the item, its container, or the building where it is stored; the color of each diamond indicates its hazard, e.g. flammable is indicated with red, because fire and heat are of red color, explosive is indicated with orange, because mixing red with yellow creates orange.
A nonflammable and nontoxic gas is indicated with green, because all compressed air vessels are this color in France after World War II, France was where the diamond system of hazmat identification originated. Mitigating the risks associated with hazardous materials may require the application of safety precautions during their transport, use and disposal. Most countries regulate hazardous materials by law, they are subject to several international treaties as well. So, different countries may use different class diamonds for the same product. For example, in Australia, anhydrous ammonia UN 1005 is classified as 2.3 with sub risk 8, whereas in the U. S. it is only classified as 2.2. People who handle dangerous goods will wear protective equipment, metropolitan fire departments have a response team trained to deal with accidents and spills. Persons who may come into contact with dangerous goods as part of their work are often subject to monitoring or health surveillance to ensure that their exposure does not exceed occupational exposure limits.
Laws and regulations on the use and handling of hazardous materials may differ depending on the activity and status of the material. For example, one set of requirements may apply to their use in the workplace while a different set of requirements may apply to spill response, sale for consumer use, or transportation. Most countries regulate some aspect of hazardous materials; the most applied regulatory scheme is that for the transportation of dangerous goods. The United Nations Economic and Social Council issues the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which form the basis for most regional and international regulatory schemes. For instance, the International Civil Aviation Organization has developed dangerous goods regulations for air transport of hazardous materials that are based upon the UN model but modified to accommodate unique aspects of air transport. Individual airline and governmental requirements are incorporated with this by the International Air Transport Association to produce the used IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
The International Maritime Organization has developed the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code for transportation of dangerous goods by sea. IMO member countries have developed the HNS Convention to provide compensation in case of dangerous goods spills in the sea; the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail has developed the regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail. Many individual nations have structured their dangerous goods transportation regulations to harmonize with the UN model in organization as well as in specific requirements; the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals is an internationally agreed upon system set to replace the various classification and labeling standards used in different countries. The GHS uses consistent criteria for labeling on a global level. Dangerous goods are divided into nine classes on the basis of the specific chemical characteristics producing the risk.
Note: The graphics and text in this article representing the dangerous goods safety marks are derived from the United Nations-based system of identifying dangerous goods. Not all countries use the same graphics in their national regulations; some use graphic symbols, but without English wording or with similar wording in their national language. Refer to the dangerous goods transportation regulations of the country of interest. For example, see the TDG Bulletin: Dangerous Goods Safety Marks based on the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations; the statement above applies to all the dangerous goods classes discussed in this article. Taken from the UNECE Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals The Australian Dangerous Goods Code, seventh edition complies with international standards of importation and exportation of dangerous goods in line with the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Australia uses the standard international UN numbers with a few different signs on the back and sides of vehicles carrying hazardous substances.
The country uses
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
Civil liberties or personal freedoms are personal guarantees and freedoms that the government cannot abridge, either by law or by judicial interpretation, without due process. Though the scope of the term differs between countries, civil liberties may include the freedom of conscience, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to security and liberty, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the right to a fair trial, the right to life. Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, the right to bodily integrity. Within the distinctions between civil liberties and other types of liberty, distinctions exist between positive liberty/positive rights and negative liberty/negative rights. Many contemporary states have a constitution, a bill of rights, or similar constitutional documents that enumerate and seek to guarantee civil liberties. Other states have enacted similar laws through a variety of legal means, including signing and ratifying or otherwise giving effect to key conventions such as the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The existence of some claimed civil liberties is a matter of dispute, as are the extent of most civil rights. Controversial examples include property rights, reproductive rights, civil marriage; the degree that democracies have involved themselves in needs to take into fact the influence of terrorism. Whether the existence of victimless crimes infringes upon civil liberties is a matter of dispute. Another matter of debate is the suspension or alteration of certain civil liberties in times of war or state of emergency, including whether and to what extent this should occur; the formal concept of civil liberties is dated back to Magna Carta, an English legal charter agreed in 1215 which in turn was based on pre-existing documents, namely the Charter of Liberties. The Constitution of People's Republic of China its Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens, claims to protect many civil liberties. Taiwan, separated from China, has its own Constitution; the Fundamental Rights—embodied in Part III of the constitution—guarantee liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace as citizens of India.
The six fundamental rights are right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation, right to freedom of religion and educational rights and right to constitutional remedies. These include individual rights common to most liberal democracies, incorporated in the fundamental law of the land and are enforceable in a court of law. Violations of these rights result in punishments as prescribed in the Indian Penal Code, subject to discretion of the judiciary; these rights are neither immune from constitutional amendments. They have been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices, they resulted in abolishment of un-touchability and prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, sex, or place of birth. They forbid unfree labour, they protect cultural and educational rights of ethnic and religious minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages and administer their own educational institutions. All people, irrespective of race, caste or sex, have the right to approach the High Courts or the Supreme Court for the enforcement of their fundamental rights.
It is not necessary. In public interest, anyone can initiate litigation in the court on their behalf; this is known as "Public interest litigation". High Court and Supreme Court judges can act on their own on the basis of media reports; the Fundamental Rights emphasize equality by guaranteeing to all citizens the access and use of public institutions and protections, irrespective of their background. The rights to life and personal liberty apply for persons of any nationality, while others, such as the freedom of speech and expression are applicable only to the citizens of India; the right to equality in matters of public employment cannot be conferred to overseas citizens of India. Fundamental Rights protect individuals from any arbitrary State actions, but some rights are enforceable against private individuals too. For instance, the constitution prohibits begar; these provisions act as a check both on State action and actions of private individuals. Fundamental Rights are not absolute and are subject to reasonable restrictions as necessary for the protection of national interest.
In the Kesavananda Bharati vs. state of Kerala case, the Supreme Court ruled that all provisions of the constitution, including Fundamental Rights can be amended. However, the Parliament cannot alter the basic structure of the constitution like secularism, federalism, separation of powers. Called the "Basic structure doctrine", this decision is regarded as an important part of Indian history. In the 1978 Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India case, the Supreme Court extended the doctrine's importance as superior to any parliamentary legislation. According to the verdict, no act of parliament can be considered a law if it violated the basic structure of the constitution; this landmark guarantee of Fundamental Rights was regarded as a unique example of judicial independence in preserving the sanctity of Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights can only be altered by a constitutional amendment, hence their inclusion is a check not only on the executive branch, but on the Parliament and state legislatures.
The imposition of a state of em
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U. S. Congress, signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001; the title of the Act is a contrived three letter initialism preceding a seven letter acronym, which in combination stand for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. The acronym was created by Chris Kyke. In response to the September 11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax attacks, Congress swiftly passed legislation to strengthen national security. On October 23, 2001, Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner introduced H. R. 3162 incorporating provisions from a previously-sponsored House bill and a Senate bill introduced earlier in the month. The next day, the Act passed the House by a vote of 357–66, with Democrats comprising the overwhelming portion of dissent; the three Republicans voting "no" were Robert Ney of Ohio, Butch Otter of Idaho, Ron Paul of Texas. On October 25, the Act passed the Senate by a 98–1 vote, the only dissident being Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
Those opposing the law have criticized its authorization of indefinite detentions of immigrants. Since its passage, several legal challenges have been brought against the act, federal courts have ruled that a number of provisions are unconstitutional. Many of the act's provisions were to sunset beginning December 31, 2005 four years after its passage. In the months preceding the sunset date, supporters of the act pushed to make its sun-setting provisions permanent, while critics sought to revise various sections to enhance civil liberty protections. In July 2005, the U. S. Senate passed a reauthorization bill with substantial changes to several of the act's sections, while the House reauthorization bill kept most of the act's original language; the two bills were reconciled in a conference committee criticized by Senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties for ignoring civil liberty concerns. The bill, which removed most of the changes from the Senate version, passed Congress on March 2, 2006, was signed by President Bush on March 9 and 10 of that year.
On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records, conducting surveillance of "lone wolves"—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups. Following a lack of Congressional approval, parts of the Patriot Act expired on June 1, 2015. With passing the USA Freedom Act on June 2, 2015, the expired parts were restored and renewed through 2019. However, Section 215 of the law was amended to stop the National Security Agency from continuing its mass phone data collection program. Instead, phone companies will retain the data and the NSA can obtain information about targeted individuals with permission from a federal court. Title I authorizes measures to enhance the ability of domestic security services to prevent terrorism; the title established a fund for counter-terrorist activities and increased funding for the Terrorist Screening Center, administered by the FBI.
The military was authorized to provide assistance in some situations that involve weapons of mass destruction when so requested by the Attorney General. The National Electronic Crime Task Force was expanded, along with the President's authority and abilities in cases of terrorism; the title condemned the discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans that happened soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The impetus for many of the provisions came from earlier bills, for instance the condemnation of discrimination was proposed by Senator Tom Harkin in an amendment to the Combatting Terrorism Act of 2001, though in a different form, it included "the prayer of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archbishop of Washington in a Mass on September 12, 2001 for our Nation and the victims in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist hijackings and attacks in New York City, Washington, D. C. and Pennsylvania reminds all Americans that'We must seek the guilty and not strike out against the innocent or we become like them who are without moral guidance or proper direction.'"
Further condemnation of racial vilification and violence is spelled out in Title X, where there was condemnation of such activities against Sikh Americans, who were mistaken for Muslims after the September 11th terrorist attack. Title II is titled "Enhanced Surveillance Procedures", covers all aspects of the surveillance of suspected terrorists, those suspected of engaging in computer fraud or abuse, agents of a foreign power who are engaged in clandestine activities, it made amendments to FISA, the ECPA, many of the most controversial aspects of the USA PATRIOT Act reside in this title. In particular, the title allows government agencies to gather "foreign intelligence information" from both U. S. and non-U. S. Citizens, changed FISA to make gaining foreign intelligence information the significant purpose of FISA-based surveillance, where it had been the primary purpose; the change in definition was meant to remove a legal "wall" between criminal investigations and surveillance for the purposes of gathering foreign intelligence, which hampered in