Patrick Henry Spins In His Grave


"I am a strong supporter of the first amendment and fourth amendment and civil liberties, but you have no civil liberties if you are dead," intoned Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan) last week on NPR.

That's a far cry from Patrick Henry's ringing choice: "Give me liberty or give me death."

Article Vi of United States Constitution requires: "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution."

The Senatorial oath as prescribed law reads: "I (name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

That means all sections of the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson was wrong when he declared that "the Constitutional Bill of Rights" is not "a suicide pact." Defending the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution may mean that we must risk death from such things as terrorist attacks on American soil.

Shame on Sen. Roberts for choosing to sacrifice civil liberties for false security.