Those are not words that I created. They are from Section 605 of the USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization conference report. The jurisdiction of this crew would be the major players in the executive branch,foreign diplomats, and “a special event of national significance” (The World Series of Poker?).
Here’s my favorite part:
(b)(1) Under the direction of the Director of the Secret Service, members of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division are authorized to–
…(B) make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence
Paul Craig Roberts had this to say:
The language conveys enormous discretionary and arbitrary powers. What is “an offense against the United States”? What are “reasonable grounds”?
You can bet that the Alito/Roberts court will rule that it is whatever the executive branch says.
The obvious purpose of the act is to prevent demonstrations at Bush/Cheney events. However, nothing in the language limits the police powers from being used only in this way. Like every law in the US, this law also will be expansively interpreted and abused. It has dire implications for freedom of association and First Amendment rights.
Andy in the HBG