Bill of Rights Defense Campaign

BILL OF RIGHTS Defense Committee - Working with communities to uphold the Bill of RightsWe the People
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Sample Resolution

WHEREAS the Constitution of the United States is our charter of liberty and enshrines fundamental rights of Americans, including the freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, privacy and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances; AND

WHEREAS each of [Location]'s elected public servants has sworn to defend and uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of [state]; AND

WHEREAS an infringement of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of any person, under the color of law, is an abuse of power, and a breach of the public trust, a misappropriation of public resources, and is beyond the scope of governmental authority; AND

WHEREAS Federal counter-terrorism policies adopted since September 11, 2001, including provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), The Homeland Security Act (Public Law 107-296), and related Executive Orders and Department of Justice regulations and actions, have unlawfully authorized the federal government to infringe upon fundamental liberties guaranteed by the United States and [State] Constitutions; AND

WHEREAS [# from BORDC.org] communities from across the country have enacted resolutions, speaking out against these government actions, demanding accountability from local and federal government;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by [Adopting Body] of [Location] that:

  1. [Location] affirms its strong opposition to terrorism, but also affirms that any actions to end terrorism must not be waged at the expense of the fundamental civil liberties, rights, and freedoms of the people of [Location], the United States, or the world;
  2. [Location] and its employees and instrumentalities shall continue to preserve residents' freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and privacy; the right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, economic status, marital status, citizenship status, or disability;
  3. To the extent legally possible, no [Location] resources, including law enforcement funds and educational administrative resources, will be used for unconstitutional activities in whatever manner or under whatever circumstances they may be presented;
  4. [Location] urges our State Representatives and Senators, and United States Representative and Senators to monitor the continuing implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Homeland Security Act, and related subsequent legislation, executive orders, and Department of Justice regulations, and actively work for the repeal of those provisions that are found to unlawfully infringe on civil rights and liberties;
  5. Any new security measures of [Location] should be carefully designed and employed to enhance public safety without infringing on the civil liberties and rights of [Location] citizens; AND
  6. Copies of this resolution shall be sent to the President of the United States; the Attorney General of the United States; the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; the Governor of [State]; and to each member of the [State] delegation in Congress.

This Resolution will take effect immediately upon passage. The provisions of this Resolution shall be severable, and if any portion is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to the Constitutions of the United States or [State], the validity of the remainder of this Resolution shall not be affected thereby.

Other Resources

For a library of resolution clauses from previously passed resolutions, organized by objective, see our sample clauses page.

For tips on writing a resolution, see our Guide to Writing an Effective Resolution.