The right to avoid self-incrimination is an important one. Bounded in the 5th Amendment of the Constitution is a protection that says you need not ever accept a position in court that has you witnessing against yourself. The Amendment in its essence contains a direct response to the Founders’ fear of a centralized and strong government, with due process portions and the right to proper treatment in the courts of law. Ironically, it is now those members of the centralized government that are clinging to the fifth amendment for dear life in an attempt to protect themselves from the people.

Lois Lerner testified this week at the House Ways and Means Committee on her involvement in the IRS scandal. Allegedly, and with a great deal of evidence quickly pouring in, she stands at the forefront of a long list of individuals who (allegedly) targeted conservative groups as they attempted to seek nonprofit status. Though the President’s brother appears to have been rushed through this process (allegedly), Tea Party and patriot groups that were conservatively leaning were told that the process would take months and it did.

Lerner did provide an opening statement to the Congress, potentially negating her waiver to appear. The question becomes if Lerner’s 5th Amendment adherence was negated when she chose to not only make a statement but signed her agreement to answers she had previously been given. Some Congressional questioners have asserted that they will recall Lerner in hopes that she will be prepared to talk and answer the questions they so desperately want the resolutions to, like did this investigative action rise to the level that President Obama himself knew and remained silent?

Ironically, Lerner who is not new to controversy and has been a proponent of some heightened scrutiny of conservative groups, is now hiding behind the Constitution rights that she is afforded by that great document. The same rights that Tea Party Activists believe so important and worth protesting over (fiscal restraint as well) are now being touted by a woman unwilling to answer questions of her involvement. Irony at its finest and worst all at the same time.

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