The Corner


Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) has been pushing a civil liberties disaster called the “RAVE Act,” as I detailed a several weeks ago. Very strong grassroots opposition has stalled the Biden bill in Congress. It has not passed a single committee. So now, Biden is attempting to put the RAVE Act onto the conference committee version of the Amber Alert bill (S. 151), regarding abuducted children. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, Biden is incorrectly claiming that the ACLU no longer opposes his bill. The popular Amber Alert bill is in very serious danger of being taken over as a vehicle for oppressive laws which can’t make it through the legislative process on their own merits when exposed to public scrutiny. The House version of the Amber bill includes a particularly repressive measure having nothing to do with missing children: the Feeney Amendment destroys most disrection of federal judges to impose downward departures under the federal sentencing guidelines. The discretion would be transferred to prosecutors–a serious violation of the principle of separation of powers, based on a draconian and unjust insistence that the failed federal drug war must never waver from imposing major sentences on minor actors.


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