THE SLOW DEATH OF “THE BILL OF RIGHTS” The American way of life changed for all citizens on the morning of September 11, 2001, in numerous fashion, some immediate and very obvious, other actions not apparent until much later.On October 26, 2001, a mere six weeks later, the greatest harm due to the tragedy was done to the American citizenry by the decimation of the Bill of Rights that the Framer’s of the Constitution so carefully constructed for the individual protection guaranteed when asking citizens to band together as a nation whilst giving up natural freedom. Aside from the loss of life and devastation in the form of grief and damage done to property, the signing of HR 3162, “The USA-Patriot Act” by the President is the most disastrous action that is a result of the terrorist acts suffered by America, and this rushed piece of legislation should immediately be challenged in the judicial system for its Constitutionality and enforceability. Within a week of September 11th,Attorney General John Ashcroft began pressuring the House of Representatives for the passing of his rendition of an anti-terrorism bill.

Upon reading the bill, a bipartisan committee reinserted segments that protected rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.It was also widely reported that Patrick Leahy, of the Senate Judiciary Committee, felt tremendous pressure being exerted on him by Ashcroft and the White House operatives to hasten the bill through the channels for the immediate signing by President Bush (Village Voice, para 3). The House Judiciary Committee did vote 36-0 on their revised rendition of the anti-terrorism bill that Ashcroft had provided them with, but “House Speaker Dennis Hastert, other Republican leaders, and operatives from the White House scuttled that legislation and crafted a new bill” (Village Voice, para 4).

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Due to the hastening nature of this legislation, the 175 page bill was voted on and passed 337 to 79 without mos…