Eureka Springs, AR In Opposition to the Loss of Constitutional Freedoms
Status: Adopted on 5/14/07
Source File: http://www.cityofeurekasprings.org/ORDS/res539.html
RESOLUTION No. 539
A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE OF ARKANSAS AND IN OPPOSITION TO THE LOSS OF ANY OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS
WHEREAS, the City Council of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, has been requested to oppose any lessening of our constitutionally granted freedoms; and
WHEREAS issues have recently arisen regarding the constitutionality of certain recent acts of the Federal government; and
WHEREAS, attacks against the United States such as those that occurred on September 11, 2001, have necessitated the crafting of laws to protect the public from terrorist attacks but, at the same time, those laws must not infringe on the civil liberties and rights of innocent people as guaranteed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and
WHEREAS, the USA PATRIOT Act was enacted by Congress on October 26, 2001 and reauthorized in March 2006, and
WHEREAS, within the USA PATRIOT Act are provisions expanding the scope of national security letters (“NSL“), an administrative subpoena primarily issued by the FBI compelling third parties to turn over certain information without court approval, and the scope of warrants for the production of "tangible things", issued by a secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ("215 orders"), and
WHEREAS, provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act prohibited indefinitely the recipients of NSLs and 215 orders from disclosing the contents of the notices and the very fact that they had received the notices; and
WHEREAS, following much criticism and two adverse court decisions, Congress on March 2006, amended the provisions pertaining to NSLs and 215 orders to allow the recipient of an NSL or an 215 order to challenge the validity of the NSL or the 215 order in court and to allow the recipient to challenge the gag in court; and
WHEREAS, questions persist about the constitutionality of the provisions pertaining to NSLs and 215 orders, as amended, because to prevail in a challenge a recipient must meet a high burden of proof and no exchanges of information, even those between attorney and client and physician and patient are deemed confidential; and
WHEREAS, the City of Eureka Springs, AR, collects and retains many sensitive and non public records which the federal government could seek by the means of NSL or 215 order, and desires to ensure that the constitutional rights of City residents, employees and other persons using City facilities and services are safeguarded.
Be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Eureka Springs, Arkansas,
Section 1. That we whole-heartedly support the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Arkansas and the Freedoms therein guaranteed and abide by the oaths we swore upon entering the offices to which we were elected;
Section 2. Be it further resolved that we support all efforts by legal means to maintain the freedoms promised to the citizens of Eureka Springs, AR, by these two great Documents.
Section 3. That the City Council of Eureka Springs, AR supports the government of the United States of America in its campaign against terrorism and affirms its commitment that the campaign not be waged at the expense of civil liberties of the people of this country and community.
Section 4. The Mayor shall critically examine any NSL that he or she may receive to determine if compliance would be unlawful and if so, the Mayor shall consider a challenge to the validity of the NSL in court.
Section 5. If the City receives an NSL which contains a statement prohibiting it from disclosing to any person, other than the attorney for the City and the Mayor, that the issuer of the NSL is seeking certain information, the Mayor shall consider challenging the prohibition in court. The Mayor may decide to challenge the prohibition even though he or she decides not to challenge the validity of the NSL.
Section 6. The Mayor shall examine any 215 order that the City may receive to determine if it was lawfully issued, and if it was not, the Mayor shall consider a challenge to the validity of the 215 order in court.
Section 7. If the Mayor receives a 215 order, the Mayor shall consider challenging the prohibition on disclosure in court, after one year has elapsed if such delay mandated under the reenacted Act is determined to be constitutional. The Mayor may decide to challenge the prohibition even though he or she decides not to challenge the validity of the 215 order.
Section 8. The City Council of Eureka Springs, AR., urges its Congressional representatives to address concerns about these provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act, as amended, and other statutes that infringe on civil liberties and to oppose pending and future legislation to the extent that it unconstitutionally infringes on the rights and liberties of the people of the United States.