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Supreme Court Repeals Fouth Amendment!

Let me quote the previously existing law before a 5-4 majority of the United States Supreme Court stuck their heads up their asses today:

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

— Amendment IV to the Constitution of the United States

 

Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas voted to repeal the Fourth Amendment.

 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the ruling "leaves Herring, and others like him, with no remedy for violations of their constitutional rights." Along with Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens also dissented.

 

I AM FURIOUS![1] I thought I was going to have a stroke when I heard this.

 

Federal law (U.S. Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 31, § 502) requires everyone who enlists or re-enlists in the Armed Forces of the United States to take the enlistment oath:

 

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; . . .

 

As far as I know, nobody has released me from this oath. So what do I do now? Take up arms against the Supreme Court?

 

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Update: This image was used on the American Constitution Society at William & Mary School of Law website in the article Excluding the Exclusionary Rule by Matthew Flyntz (February 2, 2009).

 

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The conservative majority acknowledged that the arrest . . . violated his constitutional rights, yet upheld his conviction on federal drug and gun charges.

 

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Court Says Evidence is Valid Despite Police Error

 

By Mark Sherman

 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

 

Washington, DC — The Supreme Court said Wednesday that evidence obtained after illegal searches or arrests based on simple police mistakes may be used to prosecute criminal defendants.

 

The justices split 5-4 along ideological lines to apply new limits to the court's so-called exclusionary rule, which generally requires evidence to be suppressed if it results from a violation of a suspect's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizure.

 

The conservative majority acknowledged that the arrest of Bennie Dean Herring of Alabama — based on the mistaken belief that there was a warrant for his arrest — violated his constitutional rights, yet upheld his conviction on federal drug and gun charges.

 

Coffee County, Ala., sheriff's deputies found amphetamines in Herring's pockets and an unloaded gun in his truck when they conducted a search following his arrest. It turned out that the warrant from neighboring Dale County had been recalled five months earlier, but the county sheriff's computers had not been updated.

 

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court, said the evidence may be used "when police mistakes are the result of negligence such as that described here, rather than systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements."

 

Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas sided with Roberts.

 

In a dissent for the other four justices, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the ruling "leaves Herring, and others like him, with no remedy for violations of their constitutional rights."

 

Ginsburg said accurate police record-keeping is of paramount importance, particularly with the widespread use of electronic databases. Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens also dissented.

 

Herring was arrested after a Coffee sheriff's employee asked her counterpart in Dale County whether Herring, called "no stranger to law enforcement" by Roberts, was wanted in Dale. An arrest warrant had been issued in Dale, but it had been recalled by July 2004.

 

The sheriff's electronic records, however, showed it was still a valid warrant.

 

Acting on that information, Coffee County deputies arrested and searched Herring.

 

The Dale employee meanwhile discovered the warrant was no longer valid and called Coffee County to say so. But it was too late for Herring.

 

Some courts have ruled that as a deterrent to police misconduct, the fruits of a similar search may be excluded from evidence.

 

But the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said that suppressing evidence in Herring's case would be unlikely to deter sloppy record keeping.

 

The case is Herring v. U.S., 07-513.

 

Source: Sherman, Mark. "Court Says Evidence is Valid Despite Police Error." Associated Press. 14 Jan. 2009. <http://fe11.story.media.ac4.yahoo.com/news/us/story/ap/20090114/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_evidence>

 

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Here is an excerpt from an email conversation earlier today . . .

 

Unnamed Idiot: "It seems to me that the ruling now means that fewer people committing crimes will get off due to technicalities. This is a good thing."

 

Rational Free-Thinking American Patriot: This law does not protect criminals. It protects everyone!

 

Unnamed Idiot: "Exclusion of evidence obtained through police misconduct is meant to discourage the police from abusing their power."

 

Rational Free-Thinking American Patriot: The exclusion of evidence obtained through police misconduct is to protect your Constitutional rights as a free citizen. Police are discouraged from abusing their power by other means such as slaps on the wrist, paid suspension, that kind of thing.

 

Unnamed Idiot: "However, when [exclusion of evidence] happens, everyone loses . . . except the criminal."

 

Rational Free-Thinking American Patriot: Wow. Observation and enforcement of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America only benefits criminals. Is that what I "heard" you say? Wow.

 

Unnamed Idiot: "If the police break down my door because they went to the wrong address to arrest someone, and they find me building a meth lab in the garage should I get away with it because someone mixed up an address?"

 

Rational Free-Thinking American Patriot: I am of the opinion that, as long as you observe local zoning laws, you can post a sign on your house [that says] "House of Meth. Two for one Tuesdays!" and "get away with it."

 

But this case was not inspired by a meth lab. It was a guy with "amphetamines in [his] pockets and an unloaded gun in his truck." This—or something very like this—could happen to just about any one of the "criminals" reading this email. The guy was exercising his inalienable human rights. Turns out, two of them were illegal. (For those of you in Rio Linda, the two illegal ones in this case were the Pursuit of Happiness, and Liberty. Life, for the time being, is still allowed in Alabama.)

 

While this ruling may see a few criminals brought to justice, its primary function will be as another weapon in the governments arsenal to oppress innocent men and women.

 

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[1] I am also agitated, angry, bent out of shape, beside myself, boiling mad, enraged, fit to be tied, fuming, hopping mad, incensed, infuriated, irate, ireful, livid, mad, on the warpath, pissed off, rabid, raging, rampageous, seething, steamed, steaming, stormy, tempestuous, turbulent, up in arms, upset, wrathful, and a few other words I don't use in polite company.

 

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Taken on January 16, 2009