Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sliding Further Down the Slippery Slope of Government Intrusion.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that we, the people are increasingly losing our right to be secure in our homes and in our persons.  In an ironic twist, just as we get the news that cops may be suspect in the Long Island serial killings (Of course, the NYPD denies this), the Indiana Supreme Court - in a decision that overturns centuries of common law - ruled, that residents have no right to resist the entry of police, without warrant.

This decision stems from a case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment.  Dissenters, Justices Robert Rucker and  Brent Dickson said that they would have supported the ruling if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations.

"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." -- Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David
Another dissenting judge said,
“government agents may now enter their homes illegally – that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances.”
What did the three justices that ruled that police can break down the door of any home, if the situation warrants  (left to the arbitrary discretion of the police official)?   Well, they said residents can later protest the entry through the court system.  Kind of hard to do if you're dead, injured for life; not to mention, it's not going to bring back any loved ones who happen to wander into the line of fire during the warrant-less intrusion.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 8-1, that police can enter our personal residences, without a warrant, if they smell marijuana, and simultaneously, hear the toilet flush. Why? There is a possibility that the flusher was getting rid of evidence. Now, this ruling is more specific, as it applies only to marijuana, that "dangerous" plant that I'm sure, saves more lives than it takes.  Nevertheless, once again, citizens are left dangling on a hook, at the mercy of arbitrary officials, and their arbitrary decisions.  The one and only dissenting judge, Justice Ruth Ginsburg, wrote,
“Police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant,”
and quoted in a New York Times article :
“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?”
The infringements to our freedoms are always cloaked under fear and national security; however, that cloak is getting more transparent every  day.  It's hard to deny the serial assaults on our Constitutional liberties and the ongoing attempt to erode the protections of  American citizens from wholly irrational government action, even if you buy into all of the propaganda.  The protection of the lives, health, and property of American citizens, and the preservation of good order and the public morals mean very little, if anything to those who reside at the top of our power structure.

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