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I was interested in my blog bud's recent post chastising Indiana Supreme Court members for ruling that citizens in Indiana "have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes."
In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.
"We believe … a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said.
Da King was incensed that the 4th amendment to the Constitution was being trampled by these Indiana Supremes.....many angels danced on heads of pins in the ensuing discussion in the comment thread.
Yesterday, the Major League Supreme Court issued a new ruling basically putting an exclamation mark to the end of the 4th amendment.
The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more leeway to break into homes or apartments in search of illegal drugs when they suspect the evidence might be destroyed.
The justices said officers who smell marijuana and loudly knock on the door may break in if they hear sounds that suggest the residents are scurrying to hide the drugs.
Stripsearch Supreme, Sammy Alito wrote the majority 8-1 opinion and had this to say....
Residents who "attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame" when police burst in, Justice Samuel Alito said for an 8-1 majority.
Basically the only progressive jurist left, Ruth Ginsburg, said in the lone dissent....
"The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement in drug cases," Ginsburg wrote. "In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant."
Well....yeah Ruth. Who has time to fool with warrants when the ends justify the means in post-9-11 America? There's not a Dick Cheney second to lose. And hell.....I'm sure that trained law enforcement officers know just what evidence destruction sounds like and would, therefore, never abuse such power.....so, no worries then. After all, police are only concerned about our safety.
Much of the 4th amendment has long ago been sacrificed in the so-called war on drugs. A fictitious "war" with no end and no purpose other than to maintain a bloated law enforcement-prison industrial complex. With this latest ruling, the Supremes are simply tying up any loose ends.
At this juncture I would ask the Kiefer Sutherland-Dick Cheney question......'if there's a one percent chance that the rustling sound I'm hearing inside that house could be "terrorists" destroying documents....or WMD....or even maybe some hashish....AND if there's even the slightest chance that the people making that rustling sound inside that house have information about an imminent threat to American lives....anywhere.....wouldn't you want police officers to just bust the door down to keep us safe?'
Immediately after 9-11....Americans responded with a resounding 'Hell, yes.'
There's no sense in looking back and second guessing now.
When the fictitious war on terror was announced by the, as yet, unindicted war criminals, Bush and Cheney....Americans had their 4th amendment rights rescinded. It was no longer safe for Americans to not have their federal overlords spying on all their communications. After all, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Sometimes safety must come before fidelity to a "goddamn piece of paper", as the Decider put it.
In particular, neo-con Americans felt so unsafe after 9-11 that when W's illegal-wiretapping-of-all-electronic-communications program was leaked they wanted to arrest the New York Times writers who spilled the beans....still do. Our Protectors were so concerned about our safety that it wasn't safe for us even to know how safe they were keeping us.....too risky.
Anyone who is troubled or experiencing mild forms of second guessing over the means by which our Protectors, you know, protect us.....and are just now wondering about 4th amendment protections......and what happened to those protections.....I insist that you read the latest from The New Yorker's Jane Mayer, "The Secret Sharer." It is most definitely a must read.
If you are a person who says you are concerned at all about Big Gub'mint taking away your rights....and particularly if you are one whose libertarian feathers were ruffled recently over erosion of 4th amendment rights.....then you need a good, hard-hitting, refresher course on how we arrived at where we are today.
Where we are....is exactly where neo-con worry warts and pearl clutching libertarians wanted to take us.