Punching Stupid and Evil in the Face Since 1986!

"We are on strike, we the men of the mind. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties."-John Galt

Monday, May 16, 2011

SCOTUS also hates the Fourth Amendment

In an unbelievable 8-1 ruling the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that police may enter a home without a warrant if they feel there is a crime is being committed, knock loudly, announce themselves and hear what they think is the sound of evidence being destroyed.

The issue as framed by the majority was a narrow one. It assumed that there was good reason to think evidence was being destroyed, and asked only whether the conduct of the police had impermissibly caused the destruction.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, said police officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches by kicking down a door after the occupants of an apartment react to hearing that officers are there by seeming to destroy evidence.

I couldn't disagree more. This certainly leaves the door open to false claims of "hearing" something by officers who do not wish to take the time to get a warrant. There is no reason to follow the Constitution under any circumstances if the only requirement is unidentifiable sounds coming from behind a closed door.

This decision, following the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Indiana-where they have also stepped all over your right to protection from illegal search and seizure-makes one wonder how far from the Constitution we, as a nation, will allow our Justices to stray. With rulings like this there soon will not be any circumstance that would keep the police (or a police state) from entering your home, accusing you of a crime with little or no evidence and taking you off to jail. If you think think this sounds like hyperbole, you might want to become more familiar with history. Combine these rulings with what the TSA is doing to us at the airport and this begins to look eerily like as place I don't want to live.

Justice Ginsburg sums it up perfectly:

Justice Ginsburg, dissenting, said the majority had taken a wrong turn.

“The urgency must exist, I would rule,” she wrote, “when the police come on the scene, not subsequent to their arrival, prompted by their own conduct.”

Justice Ginsburg then asked a rhetorical question based on the text of the Fourth Amendment.

“How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?” she asked.