that underscores one amazing point: the right-wing of the Republican Party and its “Tea Party” faction endlessly tout their devotion to limited federal government powers, individual rights, property rights, and the Constitution. If they were even minimally genuine in those claims, few things would offend and anger them more than federal agents singling out and detaining whichever citizens they want, and then taking their property, digging through and recording their most personal and private data — all without any oversight or probable cause. Yet with very few exceptions (a few groups on the Right, including religious conservatives, opposed some excesses of the Patriot Act, while the small libertarian faction of the GOP oppose many of these abuses), they seem indifferent to, even supportive of, the very policies that most violently injure their ostensible principles.
Loretta Sanchez, a California Democrat in the House of Representatives, is proposing a bill requiring Homeland Security to issue rules governing searches and seizures so that they are no longer able to operate completely in the dark and without standards. Glenn Greenwald describes DHS seizures of cellphones and computers, often not returning them, in an article that includes an interview with Rep. Sanchez. He says her bill doesn’t go far enough, but might be a good first step. However it’s unlikely to pass in the Republican-controlled House.