The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice


Multiple provisions in the Bill of Rights appear gutted around the last year. While abroad, Mr. Pitts received an outside perspective on American news which provided him with a new outlook on current events. The United Nations Social Forum brought voices into the United Nations which are not typically heard, such as poor and vulnerable populations not represented elsewhere. Concurrently, the Johannesburg Summit addressed similar issues. However, as of late, the American government suppresses the voices of the American people. The Patriot Act includes provisions which deter dissent, freedom of speech, and assembly. This Act also purported to give the government expansive new powers. The Patriot Act also allows internet providers to hand over individual email addresses of anyone deemed a threat. Already the Act appears to violate the First and Fourth Amendments. America treads further on the Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights to Due Process by refusing access to impartial courts for detainees on military bases. Along those same lines, the United States government violates the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a speedy and public trial. For each provision of the Bill of Rights, an international equivalent exists. These equivalencies are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Affording people rights enhances security, while repression of those rights diminishes security. When we feel the need to repress rights at home in America, other nations feel comfortable following suit. The bottom line is repression does not work. Repression creates more terrorism. The United States needs to realize working with other nations is the way in which to attain global security.

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St. Mary's University School of Law