I’ve never met Mark Shurtleff, the Attorney General for the state of Utah, but lately he’s shown up in news items that I’ve read. Earlier it was over HB 150, a bill to provide warrantless data request powers to the state for customer information from ISPs:
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, at the request of state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff …
The bill would give administrative subpoena power to the A.G. – — without getting a judge’s OK — to obtain information such as e-mails and phone numbers when investigating child kidnapping or cyberstalking, which occurs over the Internet. Daw said that these subpoena powers already exist when investigating sex crimes against minors.
I’m all for going after the bad guys. Go get a warrant and then track them down. If you don’t have enough to get a warrant then do some more digging. Skipping over sight provided by a warrant is a bad idea.
The mission of the Utah Attorney General is:
The mission of the Office of the Utah Attorney General is to uphold the constitutions of the United States and of Utah, enforce the law, provide counsel to state agencies and public officials, to work with law enforcement and protect the interests of Utah, its people, environment and resources.
I’m not very impressed with Mark Shurtleff’s choice to throw the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution under a bus, even if it is in the name of trying to catch bad guys.
So it felt like a giant salt lick of hypocrisy when I came across his video about the 10th Amendment in regards to the just passed health care reform bill:
It’s hard to imagine that anyone can take you seriously when you stomp on one element of the US Constitution in an effort to increase your own power and then get upset when you think someone else is doing the same thing.
I don’t think I have enough details about the health care bill and the process used to make an informed determination on whether Shurtleff has a valid point or not. But I know this much for sure, after his involvement (he requested it) in H.B. 150, I don’t trust any of his opinions on the US Constitution. That is the real tragedy out of all of this, even if he’s in the right, I wouldn’t trust him.