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1998 Ron Paul Chapter 58

Child Protection and Sexual Predator Punishment Act

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11 June 1998


1998 Ron Paul 58:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to the Child Protection and Sexual Predator Punishment Act of 1998. This bill, if passed, will further expand the authority of this country’s national police force and further “justify” the federal Justice Department’s intrusion into mail, telephone and Internet communications.

1998 Ron Paul 58:2
Mr. Chairman, today the Congress will collectively move our nation yet another step closer to a national police state by further expanding the notion of federal crimes and paving the way for a deluge of federal criminal justice activity. Of course, it is much easier to ride the current wave of federally “criminalizing” all human malfeasance in the name of saving the world from some evil than to uphold a Constitutional oath which prescribes a process by which the nation is protected from what is perhaps the worst evil, totalitarianism. Who, after all, and especially in an election year, wants to be amongst those members of Congress who are portrayed as soft on child-related sexual crime irrespective of the procedural transgressions and individual or civil liberties one tramples in their zealous approach.

1998 Ron Paul 58:3
In the name of the politically popular cause of protecting children against sex crimes, the Members of Congress will vote on whether to move the Nation further down the path of centralized-Government implosion by appropriating yet more Federal taxpayer money and brandishing more U.S. prosecutors at whatever problem happens to be brought to the floor by any Members of Congress hoping to gain political favor with those embracing some politically popular cause. The Child Protection and Sexual Predator Punishment Act of 1998 is no exception.

1998 Ron Paul 58:4
Who, after all, can stand on the house floor and oppose a bill which is argued to make the world safer for children with respect to crimes? It is a sad commentary when members of this body only embrace or even mention federalism when it serves their own political purposes and, at the same time, consciously ignore federalism’s implications for these politically popular causes. It seems to no longer even matter whether governmental programs actually accomplish their intended goals or have any realistic hope of solving problems. No longer does the end even justify the means. All that now seems to matter is that Congress pass a new law.

1998 Ron Paul 58:5
Crimes committed against children (as well as adults) are a problem that should concern all Americans. As a doctor of obstetrics I have enjoyed the privilege of bringing more than 3,000 new lives into the world. I know there are few things more tragic than crimes committed against young people. In fact, the types of crimes this bill attempts to federally punish are among the most despicable criminal acts committed. Undoubtedly, strong measures and penalties need to be imposed to deter and punish these criminal actors. Nevertheless, the threshold question in Congress must always be: “under what authority do we act?” Should we cease to concern ourselves about the Constitution in all that we do and moved by emotion speak only of vague theoretical outcomes?

1998 Ron Paul 58:6
Any federal usurpation of criminal law, no matter how flexible, violates the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 10th amendment limits the Federal Government to those functions explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. Other than in these few areas, the States are sovereign. Therefore the Federal Government has no authority to federalize crimes whether committed against children, women, or some specific race. Additionally, ours is an individual Bill of Rights rather than a system of rights dependent upon to which group (gender, race, or age) one happens to belong.

1998 Ron Paul 58:7
The drafters of the Bill of Rights knew quite well that it would be impossible for a central government to successfully manage crime prevention programs for as large and diverse a country as America. The founders also understood that centralized federal involvement in crime prevention and control was dangerous and would lead to a loss of precious liberty. The bill’s implication of federal monitoring of conversation on phone lines, the Internet, and U.S. mail is frightening and opens the door to unlimited government snooping.

1998 Ron Paul 58:8
Some will argue that federal legislation is necessary because communications cross state lines. Fortunately, the Constitution provides for the procedural means for preserving the integrity of state sovereignty over those issues delegated to it via the tenth amendment. The privilege and immunities clause as well as full faith and credit clause allow states to exact judgments from those who violate their state laws. The Constitution even allows the federal government to legislatively preserve the procedural mechanisms which allow states to enforce their substantive laws without the federal government imposing its substantive edicts on the states. Article IV, Section 2, Clause 2 makes provision for the rendition of fugitives from one state to another and in 1783 Congress passed an act which did exactly this.

1998 Ron Paul 58:9
I too find most despicable the criminal acts this bill attempts to make federal crimes, but under the U.S. Constitution criminal law jurisdiction lies with the States. This is why I oppose yet another step toward a national police state. And because I fear the bill’s implications regarding federal monitoring of voice, mail and data communications, I cannot support H.R. 3494.
Notes:

1998 Ron Paul 58:2 Who, after all, and especially in an election year, wants to be amongst those members of Congress who are portrayed as soft on child-related sexual crime irrespective of the procedural transgressions and individual or civil liberties one tramples in their zealous approach. Similar wording is found in 1998 Ron Paul 50:1.

1998 Ron Paul 58:4 the house floor probably should be capitalized, the House floor.

1998 Ron Paul 58:5 Should we cease to concern ourselves about the Constitution in all that we do and moved by emotion speak only of vague theoretical outcomes? probably should have three commas: Should we cease to concern ourselves about the Constitution in all that we do, and, moved by emotion, speak only of vague theoretical outcomes?

1998 Ron Paul 58:8 The privilege and immunities clause probably should be caitalized and plural, The Privileges and Immunities Clause. Also, full faith and credit clause probably should be capitalized, Full Faith and Credit Clause.

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