Progressive Caucus Supports 5th and 6th Amendment Rights by Margin of 60-10

On December 14 2011, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1540, a bill that violates the 5th Amendment and 6th Amendment rights of people under the Constitution. These Amendments, part of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, prohibits the government from detaining people without charge forever, without a trial, without being informed of their rights. These are the powers that H.R. 1540 grants to the government in spite of the Constitution.

One of the four central mandates of the Congressional Progressive Caucus is “Protecting and Preserving Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.” So you’d think that the members of the CPC would vote against H.R. 1540.

How well did the Progressive Caucus do? Judge them by their roll call record:

The Progressive Caucus Keeps its Progressive Promise with a 60-10 vote against H.R. 1540The 60 Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who Supported Constitutional Rights by Voting NO on H.R. 1540:

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Democrat-WI, District 2)
Rep. Karen Bass (Democrat-CA, District 33)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (Democrat-CA, District 31)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Democrat-OR, District 3)
Rep. Michael Capuano (Democrat-MA, District 8 )
Rep. André Carson (Democrat-IN, District 7)
Rep. Judy Chu (Democrat-CA, District 32)
Rep. Yvette Clarke (Democrat-NY, District 11)
Rep. William Clay (Democrat-MO, District 1)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Democrat-MO, District 5)
Rep. Steve Cohen (Democrat-TN, District 9)
Rep. John Conyers (Democrat-MI, District 14)
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Democrat-MD, District 7)
Rep. Danny Davis (Democrat-IL, District 7)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (Democrat-OR, District 4)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Democrat-CT, District 3)
Rep. Donna Edwards (Democrat-MD, District 4)
Rep. Keith Ellison (Democrat-MN, District 5)
Rep. Sam Farr (Democrat-CA, District 17)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (Democrat-PA, District 2)
Rep. Barney Frank (Democrat-MA, District 4)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (Democrat-OH, District 11)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (Democrat-AZ, District 7)
Rep. Janice Hahn (Democrat-CA, District 36)
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (Democrat-NY, District 22)
Rep. Michael Honda (Democrat-CA, District 15)
Rep. Jesse Jackson (Democrat-IL, District 2)
Rep. Hank Johnson (Democrat-GA, District 4)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Democrat-OH, District 9)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Democrat-OH, District 10)
Rep. Barbara Lee (Democrat-CA, District 9)
Rep. John Lewis (Democrat-GA, District 5)
Rep. Ben Luján (Democrat-NM, District 3)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (Democrat-NY, District 14)
Rep. Edward Markey (Democrat-MA, District 7)
Rep. James McDermott (Democrat-WA, District 7)
Rep. James McGovern (Democrat-MA, District 3)
Rep. George Miller (Democrat-CA, District 7)
Rep. Gwen Moore (Democrat-WI, District 4)
Rep. James Moran (Democrat-VA, District 8 )
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Democrat-NY, District 8 )
Rep. John Olver (Democrat-MA, District 1)
Rep. Frank Pallone (Democrat-NJ, District 6)
Rep. Donald Payne (Democrat-NJ, District 10)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (Democrat-ME, District 1)
Rep. Jared Polis (Democrat-CO, District 2)
Rep. Charles Rangel (Democrat-NY, District 15)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (Democrat-CA, District 34)
Rep. Bobby Rush (Democrat-IL, District 1)
Rep. Janice Schakowsky (Democrat-IL, District 9)
Rep. Jose Serrano (Democrat-NY, District 16)
Rep. Louise Slaughter (Democrat-NY, District 28)
Rep. Pete Stark (Democrat-CA, District 13)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Democrat-MS, District 2)
Rep. John Tierney (Democrat-MA, District 6)
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (Democrat-NY, District 12)
Rep. Maxine Waters (Democrat-CA, District 35)
Rep. Melvin Watt (Democrat-NC, District 12)
Rep. Peter Welch (Democrat-VT, District 0)
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (Democrat-CA, District 6)

The 10 Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who Opposed Constitutional Rights by Voting YES on H.R. 1540:

Rep. Robert Brady (Democrat-PA, District 1)
Rep. Corrine Brown (Democrat-FL, District 3)
Rep. David Cicilline (Democrat-RI, District 1)
Rep. Mazie Hirono (Democrat-HI, District 2)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (Democrat-TX, District 18)
Rep. David Loebsack (Democrat-IA, District 2)
Rep. Ed Pastor (Democrat-AZ, District 4)
Rep. Laura Richardson (Democrat-CA, District 37)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (Democrat-CA, District 39)
Rep. Frederica Wilson (Democrat-FL, District 17)

Members of the Progressive Caucus such as Ed Pastor, Linda Sanchez and Sheila Jackson Lee ought to look at themselves hard in the mirror, and they ought to be judged harshly by their constituents for failing to keep their “Progressive Promise.” But they are far outnumbered by a large supermajority of Progressive Caucus members who consistently voted in support of the Bill of Rights and against the passage of H.R. 1540. Unlike some other caucuses with pro-constitution rhetoric, the CPC’s walk matches its talk.


on “Progressive Caucus Supports 5th and 6th Amendment Rights by Margin of 60-10
2 Comments on “Progressive Caucus Supports 5th and 6th Amendment Rights by Margin of 60-10
  1. Actually, Sec 1021 of HR 1540 (formerly Sec 1031 of the Senate version S 1867) allows government officials to violate a lot more of the Constitution than Amendments 5 & 6. You too could be on your way to indefinite military detention without trial if a government official decides that any of the following things you might do are in their view supporting or sympathizing with terrorists:

    – Exercising your right of freedom of speech, press, and assembly under the First Amendment
    – Keeping arms under the Second Amendment
    – Expecting to be secure in your person, house, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, which in turn would allow the government to conduct a search without warrant issued based on probably cause under the Fourth Amendment
    – Expecting to be allowed reasonable bail and not to suffer cruel and unusual punishment (i.e., interrogation by torture) under the Eighth Amendment
    – Expecting to have due process applied by state and local governments under the Fourteenth Amendment, considering that the Federal military can mandate cooperation by local police forces and local police can refer cases to the Federal government for action by the military.

    This represents a huge part of the Constitution, amendments that have been in effect for over 140 years, gone in about one day of voting by our current Representatives and Senators.

    Our last best hope to protect these freedoms is not President Obama, whose administration asked for the parts of HR 1540 that allow imprisonment of US citizens and permanent residents, nor the Supreme Court, which has already ruled in favor of government detention of US citizens during states of emergency. Rather, it is H.R.3702 – Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011, which was introduced on December 16th by a group of 29 co-sponsoring Representatives. HR 3702 currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee, where it will stay (thanks to the Obama administration and the House & Senate Republican AND Democratic leaders) unless enough of us write to our Representative and Senators showing support for the bill and asking that it be fast tracked out of committee and to the floor.

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