John Doe Law


What is it?  Basically it is a law that protects good samaritans from frivolous law suits filed by those who they report.  Congress failed to pass the “John Doe” legislation.  Now, those that call in anonymous reports can be sued.  Consider the impact. 

The Fort Dix plot would not have been uncovered without the help of a 23 year old male who called in the tip after seeing a video of middle eastern males firing weapons and yelling “Allah Akbar.”  The John Doe law would protect him.  Without it we run the risk of individuals like him turning the other way.

Good job congress.  Now that is the kind of leadership America is  clamoring for.

The John Doe legislation, called the Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act, passed in the House in April with overwhelming bipartisan support, by a vote of 304-121 – including 105 Democrats. Now, King wants to include it in the 9/11 security legislation as a stand-alone measure to assure its passage apart from the larger bill. It is up to the majority leadership, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whether they will allow the provision to be added to the bill. Reached by telephone yesterday, a senior Pelosi staffer refused several times to say whether Pelosi supports the John Doe legislation in principle.

Why? What could prevent any member of Congress from supporting no-brainer, bipartisan legislation that protects Good Samaritans from frivolous lawsuits? One possible motive: According to key Democrat leaders, John Doe protection will encourage “racial profiling.”

Let’s put this in perspective. The alleged conspiracy to kill U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix was foiled by a Circuit City store clerk who alerted law enforcement after the suspects brought a video to the store for reformatting on DVD.

An FBI spokesman called the 23-year-old tipster an “unsung hero” and acknowledged that the plot would have gone undiscovered if he hadn’t stepped forward. The hero clerk later told reporters that after seeing several Middle Eastern-looking men shouting “Allah Akbar” while firing assault rifles and engaging in military-type maneuvers on the video, he discussed overnight with his family whether or not to call authorities. Lucky for us, he made the right decision.

But would he have made that call if he thought getting it wrong might require defending himself against a multimillion-dollar lawsuit? Would you? “An overwhelmingly bipartisan majority of Congress supports protecting vigilant citizens who are our first and sometimes last resource in the War on Terror,” said Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), co-author of the John Doe bill. “But unfortunately they’re not going to get the support of the new majority leadership in Congress.”

nod:lgf

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