In the aftermath of the January 6th attacks on the Capitol by white nationalists and other extremists, there have been renewed calls for the creation of a new criminal statute of domestic terrorism. In addition, Congress has a history of enlarging law enforcement’s surveillance authorities in the wake of high-profile attacks. The Brennan Center and twenty-four civil rights and civil liberties organizations are calling on Congress to refrain from enacting legislation that would expand law enforcement surveillance authorities or create a new crime of “domestic terrorism.” Not only are these measures unnecessary to address white nationalist and far-right militia violence, but they have also historically infringed on the civil rights and civil liberties of marginalized communities. Instead, we urge Congress to investigate why law enforcement agencies were so ill-prepared for such a predictable event.
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