Miller Says Patriot Act Does Not Trump Census Confidentiality Laws

Friday, March 5, 2010
Pictured left to right are Dr. Robert Groves, census director, Dr. Bernie Miller, African American Census advisory chairman, and Attorney Cameron F. Kerry, General Counsel Department of Commerce.
Pictured left to right are Dr. Robert Groves, census director, Dr. Bernie Miller, African American Census advisory chairman, and Attorney Cameron F. Kerry, General Counsel Department of Commerce.

Dr. Bernie Miller, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church and chairman of the U.S. Census Bureau’s African American Advisory committee, was one of a handful of selected leaders invited to a special meeting at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

“We were told, emphatically, that stated provisions of the Patriot Act pertaining to information-gathering and sharing do not override federal confidentiality laws when it comes to the U.S. Census questionnaire. Some people question folks with a clipboard and a badge. This strong statement released to us today will, hopefully, convince the minority communities that the information given on the questionnaires are safe and secure,” Dr. Miller said.

Assistant Attorney General Ronald H. Weich said, "The long history of congressional enactments protecting [Census] information from such disclosure, as well as the established precedents of the courts and this department, supports the view that if Congress intended to override these protections, it would say so clearly and explicitly."

In this case, federal Census laws trump the Patriot Act, and the agency will keep information obtained during the headcount confidential and away from other departments, Mr. Weich said.

Dr. Miller said, “The Race and Ethnic Advisory committees have been raising the issue of confidentiality concerns for a long time.”

Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, who also attended the meeting, said, “As we have been going around doing our outreach to local community leaders -- whether religious leaders or community activists -- many people have been asking whether the Census is confidential. The Patriot Act has been passed since the last Census, so what we wanted to do was eliminate any doubt that the Patriot Act has an impact, and it does not.”



HullaBOWLoo Returns To Chattanooga Area Food Bank Warehouse

"What’s Wrong With The Army Of Tennessee? The Failure Of An Army" Program Set For May 11

Tolling Of The Boats - Submariners Lost In The Line Of Duty In 65 Submarines To Be Honored


The Chattanooga Area Food Bank will welcome home its signature fundraiser, HullaBOWLoo, presented by Adman Electric, on Saturday, April 27. This year’s event will be hosted at the Food Bank’s ... (click for more)

On Sunday, May 11, at 2 p.m., Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will provide a one-hour presentation about the issues that plagued the Confederate Army of Tennessee. This talk ... (click for more)

On April 27 at the historic Chattanooga National Cemetery beginning at 11 a.m., members of the USS Carbonero Base, United States Submarine Veterans, will honor the memories of over 4,000 submariners ... (click for more)


Happenings

HullaBOWLoo Returns To Chattanooga Area Food Bank Warehouse

The Chattanooga Area Food Bank will welcome home its signature fundraiser, HullaBOWLoo, presented by Adman Electric, on Saturday, April 27. This year’s event will be hosted at the Food Bank’s 40,000-square-foot warehouse at 2009 Curtain Pole Road from 7-10 p.m. The evening will feature a live performance from Michel Jons Band, a silent auction of premium items, and food and beverage ... (click for more)

"What’s Wrong With The Army Of Tennessee? The Failure Of An Army" Program Set For May 11

On Sunday, May 11, at 2 p.m., Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will provide a one-hour presentation about the issues that plagued the Confederate Army of Tennessee. This talk begins inside the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center before moving to a location on the battlefield. "The Army of Tennessee seemed doomed to fail," officials said. "It repeatedly ... (click for more)

Breaking News

SoCon Freshman Of The Year Who Left UTC Will Play For TCU

Kevin Easley, who announced he was leaving UTC after being named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, said he will be transferring to Texas Christian University. Easley will be eligible to play in the 2020-2021 season. He made the announcement on his personal Twitter account. Easley, at 6'6" and 223 pounds, was the first Chattanooga men's basketball student-athlete ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Department Seeks Suspects In Car Break-Ins

The Dalton Police Department is seeking help from the public to identify two men who broke into three vehicles parked at the Planet Fitness gym on Walnut Avenue. There have been several car break-ins in this parking lot over the past year because people using the gym often leave valuables inside of their cars instead of taking them inside. The suspects in these three break-ins ... (click for more)

Opinion

Why Does Walden Need A Large Grocery Store? - And Response (2)

The town of Walden has a population of 2,118 people. What do those citizens need with a 49,000 square foot grocery store? Or with 10,000 square feet of commercial office space? Or a fuel island? Or increased tractor trailer traffic with proportional damage to the road up and down the mountain? Or multiple traffic lights at the “W” Road intersection and at Timesville Road? When ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This Ain’t Gonna’ Work

When Governor Bill Lee talks about education, or the lack of it, I’ll listen. He’s the guy who, when he found his newly-hired employees were wanting, his thriving Lee Company in Nashville started its own vocational school and paid them to learn. The investment was brilliant and the outcome obvious. But now comes the bigger gamble, vouchers for some and, for others, charter schools ... (click for more)