State Senator Kelli Ward Wants to Keep the NSA Out of Arizona
While the National Security Agency has become the subject of public controversy this year, state Senator Kelli Ward, a Republican, plans on proposing legislation to keep the agency out of Arizona.
The Tenth Amendment Center announced today that Ward plans on introducing model legislation "to stop her state from supporting the NSA in its unconstitutional spying."
Ward, of Lake Havasu City, did not immediately return a call from New Times.
She did, however, issue a statement through the Tenth Amendment Center:
"While media attention is focused on a possible effort to shut off water to the NSA data center in Utah, I'm introducing the Arizona Fourth Amendment Protection Act to back our neighbors up. Just in case the NSA gets any ideas about moving south, I want them to know the NSA isn't welcome in Arizona unless it follows the Constitution."
"I believe the number one priority for national security is defending and protecting the Constitution. Without that, the rest becomes irrelevant. There is no question that the NSA program, as it is now being run, violates the Fourth Amendment. This is a way to stop it."
This is a reference to the information about NSA surveillance programs that was revealed in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which has been reported on for months by the Guardian. Meanwhile, in Utah, a group of anti-NSA activists are proposing that officials cut off the water supply to an NSA data center there.
The model legislation Ward's proposing (which the Tenth Amendment Center and similar-minded groups hope more states pass) calls for prohibiting state and local agencies from providing "any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction."
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, this includes "barring government-owned utilities from providing water and electricity" to any NSA facilities, although there aren't any in Arizona at the moment (that we know of).
The model legislation also calls for banning the NSA's involvement in college campuses, as well as making any information obtained by the NSA without a warrant inadmissible in state courts.
Various sanctions are also described in the model legislation (which can be found here).
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, no other state had considered such legislation at this point, but they do expect legislators in "at least four other states" to propose the bill.
Although this state's legislature isn't yet in session, we'll tell you the odds of this bill becoming law are extraordinary.
Although several Tenth Amendment- or nullification-centric bills have been proposed in recent years, most state lawmakers haven't been too interested in their passage.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.