Patriot Act resolution voted down

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly narrowly rejected a resolution stating it would not support the USA Patriot Act and that the war on terrorism should be fought while still emphasizing individual rights.

The measure got majority support in a 5-4 vote, but failed to get the six votes required for passage. Two members were absent for Thursday's meeting.

More than 25 people testified in favor of the resolution. One person testified against it.

The resolution was introduced by Assemblywoman Victoria Foote in the context of a nationwide movement of municipalities asking for changes or review of the Patriot Act. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly also plans to debate the issue.

Passed shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, the act expands government powers in the areas of electronic surveillance, search warrants and detention.

The federal government says the expanded powers are needed to prevent terrorist attacks. Critics say the legislation erodes freedoms protected by the Constitution.

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