In a tweet Monday morning, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton opined that those under FBI investigation should be presumed guilty.
If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 13, 2016
Clinton’s proposal and others like it have met with criticism from civil libertarians and legal scholars, who argue that you cannot constitutionally deny citizens their rights without proving that they are guilty in a trial. “We generally don’t take away rights based on suspicion” is how UCLA law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh puts it.
Clinton evidently disagrees, likely believing that we as a society ought to be wary of anyone being investigated by the feds, even in the absence of a conviction. At the very least, she seems to think we should ask pointed questions of those the federal government believes put the national security of the United States at risk through their actions.
Of course, Clinton’s comments come after the Orlando shooting Sunday morning, carried out by a perpetrator who was investigated by federal authorities but then removed from watch lists. So even if the federal government stops investigating a suspect, we may have to act on the assumption they broke the law anyway.
[Image via screengrab]
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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.