Legal Issues in Homeland Security

Most Americans agree that homeland security and combating the threat of terrorism requires strong government action and a balancing of security with constitutionally protected civil liberties. But as the old saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” A number of serious and complex legal issues arise when homeland security laws and policies are enforced, prosecuted, adjudicated, or executed. In the readings this week, you consider legal issues related to the use of racial and ethnic profiling to investigate potential terrorists, the use of data mining to collect intelligence, and the enforcement of laws such as the PATRIOT Act, as well as many other issues. As you read about each, you may find that even the most intelligent, reasonable, and well-intentioned people often disagree on these issues.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review the article, “Homeland Security and Civil Liberties: Preserving America’s Way of Life.” Consider the legal issues related to using racial and ethnic profiling as a criterion to make stops, perform searches, and conduct investigations. Also, think about the laws that apply to the use of racial and ethnic profiling.

Review the online article, “Report from the Field: The USA PATRIOT Act at Work.” Reflect on the specific legal and constitutional issues related to the execution of the PATRIOT Act and think about how you would address these issues.

Review the online article, “Homeland Security vs. the Madisonian Impulse: State Building and Anti-Statism After September 11.” Think of the legal and constitutional issues that arose from the American system of federalism and separation of powers and think about how you would address these issues.

Review the Executive Summary and Introduction of the online article, “Long-Term Legal Strategy Project for Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms in the War on Terrorism.” Focus on the analysis and recommendations regarding the competing viewpoints on the ten most difficult legal or constitutional issues regarding policies affecting security and civil liberties. Think about how you would resolve these issues.

Select a homeland security policy or practice in which there are legal issues concerning the policy itself or how it is executed. The policy should be different than the one you selected in the first Discussion.

Identify at least two legal issues related to the policy or practice you selected.

Think about how you might address the legal issues, using specific laws.

With these thoughts in mind:

Day 2 a brief description of the homeland security policy or practice you selected and explain how it is executed. Then, explain at least two legal issues related to the policy or practice. Finally, explain how you might address each legal issue. Be sure to refer to specific laws that apply.

Note: Include the policy or practice you selected in the first line of your post. You will be asked to respond to a colleague who chose a different practice or policy.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


It is important that you cover all the topics identified in the assignment. Covering the topic does not mean mentioning the topic BUT presenting an explanation from the context of ethics and the readings for this class

To get maximum points you need to follow the requirements listed for this assignments 1) look at the page limits 2) review and follow APA rules 3) create subheadings to identify the key sections you are presenting and 4) Free from typographical and sentence construction errors.



Article: Berman, J., & Flint, L. (2003). Guiding lights: Intelligence oversight and control for the challenge of terrorism. Criminal Justice Ethics, 22(1), 2.
Use the ProQuest Central database, and search using the article’s title.

Article: Sutherland, D. W. (2005). Homeland security and civil liberties: Preserving America’s way of life. Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.
Use the LexisNexis Academic database, and search for the article in the “Power Search” section of the “General” tab. Select the “Find Sources” tab under the “Sources” tab. Type “Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy” in the “Keyword” field, and search for the journal. Select the Journal and click on the “OK-Continue” button given next to the option “Save as a favorite.” Now, search using the article’s title.

Online Article: Stowsky, J., & Kroenig, M. (2005). Homeland security vs. the Madisonian impulse: State building and anti-statism after September 11. Retrieved from

Online Article: Heymann, P. B., & Kayyem, J. N. (n.d.). Long-term legal strategy project for preserving security and democratic freedoms in the war on terrorism. Retrieved August 13, 2009, from…

o”Executive Summary”


Online Article: Kellman, B. (2002). Managing terrorism’s consequences: Legal issues. Retrieved from…


Online Article: Zack, N. (2006). Philosophy and disaster. Homeland Security Affairs, II(1). Retrieved from…

Online Article: U.S. Department of Justice. (2004). Report from the field: The USA PATRIOT Act at work. Retrieved from…

Optional Resources

Online Article: Whitehead, J. W., & Aden, S. H. (2002). Articles forfeiting “enduring freedom“ for “homeland security“: A constitutional analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Justice Department’s anti-terrorism initiatives. Retrieved from…

Online Article: Relyea, H. C. (2008). Privacy and civil liberties oversight board: New independent agency status. Retrieved from

Online Article: American Civil Liberties Union. (2009). Reclaiming patriotism: A call to reconsider the Patriot Act. Retrieved from…

Online Article: U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Retrieved October 6, 2009, from…

Website: U.S. Department of Justice: Preserving Life & Liberty

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