Sen. Mike Lee: NSA Monitoring Needs Careful Oversight

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 08:55 AM

By Courtney Coren and Kathleen Walter

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Sen. Mike Lee tells Newsmax that when it comes to the NSA surveillance scandal that we should be concerned about the possibility of abuse.

"We do need to be concerned about the potential for abuse," the Utah Republican explained.

"I'm willing to acknowledge that the people currently working in the NSA are probably very well intentioned people, very law abiding individuals, and yet we know that the opportunity for abuse and manipulation does exist.

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"So we've got to be very careful with what power we do give them and there have been some disturbing reports suggesting that they have been listening to phone conversations, domestic phone calls without a warrant to the extent that this or things like it are happening," Lee said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.

Story continues below.

Lee is the author of the new e-book "Why John Roberts Was Wrong About Healthcare: A Conservative Critique of The Supreme Court's Obamacare Ruling."

He is also a constitutional lawyer and once served as a clerk for Justice Samuel Alito, where he acquired an understanding of the inner workings of the Supreme Court.

He says that Chief Justice John Roberts wrongly rewrote the healthcare bill in order to save it.

"He did it twice. First when he took language that clearly imposed a penalty as a means of enforcing the individual mandate and he rewrote that as a tax. Second, when he took the Medicaid expansion provisions, acknowledged that they were unconstitutional as written, and then rewrote them making them Constitutional by giving the states an opt out provision – a provision that Congress did not provide for."

Lee is author of Senate Bill 560, which is aimed at undoing the provisions Roberts made to make Obamacare constitutional.

"SB 560 would undo exactly what John Roberts did as the chief justice when he rewrote the Obamacare enforcement provision as a tax, in that it would say nothing in that provision, the individual mandate provision, shall be construed as a tax or as a valid exercise of Congress's power to tax under the Constitution," he says.

"If Congress were to enact that into law and thus make it consistent with what Congress thought it was doing at the outset, make it consistent with what the president and many Democratic members of Congress have continued to say since then, which is that it's not a tax it's a penalty, then it would pull out these rewritten provisions that Chief Justice Roberts inserted into Obamacare itself and the entire thing would collapse under its own weight."

The Utah senator says that he disagrees with the Supreme Court decision that came out Monday that Arizona cannot add to federal voter registration requirements by demanding additional proof of citizenship.

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"I agree with the dissenters in this case that the majority came to the wrong conclusion," he says. "It misreads the federal statute at issue and it also ignores the sovereign right of the states guaranteed by Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution: to determine who may vote, and that's a big problem and it's one that Congress needs to undo. This is one of those decisions that we can undo by statute and I intend to make an attempt to do so."

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