FC: Why Ron Paul was only Republican to vote no on morphed-porn bill

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Wed Jun 26 2002 - 13:18:11 PDT

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    Previous Politech message:
    The roll call vote:
    From: "Singleton, Norman" <Norman.Singletonat_private>
    To: declanat_private
    Subject: RE: House votes 413 to 8, once again, to restrict "morphed" child porn
    Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 16:14:09 -0400
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Here is Congressman Paul's statement on morphed child porn:
    Mr. Speaker, as a parent, grandparent and OB-GYN who has had the privilege
    of delivering over 4,000 babies, I share the revulsion of all decent people
    at child pornography. Those who would destroy the innocence of children by
    using them in sexually-explicit material deserve the harshest punishment.
    However, the Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act (HR 4623)
    exceeds Congress' constitutional power and does nothing to protect any child
    from being abused and exploited by pornographers. Instead, HR 4623 redirects
    law enforcement resources to investigations and prosecutions of "virtual"
    pornography which, by definition, do not involve the abuse or exploitation
    of children. Therefore, HR 4623 may reduce law enforcement's ability to
    investigate and prosecute legitimate cases of child pornography.
    HR 4623 furthers one of the most disturbing trends in modern politics, the
    federalization of crimes. We have been reminded by both Chief Justice
    William H. Rehnquist and former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese that more
    federal crimes, while they make politicians feel good, are neither
    constitutionally sound nor prudent. Rehnquist has stated that "The trend to
    federalize crimes that traditionally have been handled in state courts . . .
    threatens to change entirely the nature of our federal system." Meese stated
    that Congress' tendency in recent decades to make federal crimes out of
    offenses that have historically been state matters has dangerous
    implications both for the fair administration of justice and for the
    principle that states are something more than mere administrative districts
    of a nation governed mainly from Washington.
    Legislation outlawing virtual pornography is, to say the least, of dubious
    constitutionality. The constitution grants the federal government
    jurisdiction over only three crimes: treason, counterfeiting, and piracy. It
    is hard to stretch the definition of treason, counterfeiting, or piracy to
    cover sending obsence or pornographic materials over the internet.
    Therefore, Congress should leave the issue of whether or not to regulate or
    outlaw virtual pornography to states and local governments.
    In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, while I share my colleagues' revulsion at child
    pornography, I do not believe that this justifies expanding the federal
    police state to outlaw distribution of pornographic images not containing
    actual children. I am further concerned by the possibility that passage of
    HR 4623 will divert law enforcement resources away from the prosecution of
    actual child pornography. HR 4623 also represents another step toward the
    nationalization of all police functions, a dangerous trend that will
    undermine both effective law enforcement and constitutional government. It
    is for these reasons that I must oppose this well-intentioned but
    fundamentally flawed bill.
    Norman Kirk Singleton
    Legislative Director
    Congressman Ron Paul
    US House of Representatives
    202-225-2831 (ph)
    202-226-4871 (fx)
    "There will be no loyalty, except loyalty to the Party. There will be no
    love, except love of Big Brother...  If you want a picture of the future,
    imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever."
                     George Orwell, 1984
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