Odd bedfellows have united over four words, “electronic communications and data.” The American Civil Liberties Union, Occupy Minnesota, and the Minnesota Tea Party were among those supporting a proposed amendment to the Minnesota constitution. Section 10 of the Minnesota State Constitution already assures that citizens have the right to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The “My Life, My Data” movement wants to also protect bank records, text messages, e-mails, and other forms of electronic data. If successful, Minnesota would be the second state to pass such an amendment. Missouri has already passed a similar amendment.
However, State Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Latz has blocked a hearing on this proposal because he opposes legislating by amendment and believes previous court cases support requiring a warrant to search electronic data . Lantz is not the only one opposing the amendment. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk also opposes the amendment. He is quoted in the Minnesota Star Tribune as saying, “ I’m generally reluctant on the whole idea of Constitutional amendments. I think it would be unlikely we’re going to consider this for the ballot in ’16.”
Karl Eggers from the libertarian grass roots group, Liberty Minnesota is also quoted in the Star Tribune. “It’s not about party politics, it’s not about egos. It’s about protecting the U.S. Constitution.” His statement becomes a rallying call for groups that are normally as mutually repelling as oil and water, to come together to protect all the citizenry regardless of the color of their politics.