OT: Editorial: Kicking down your door gets easier

I find this quite frightening:


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-------------------------------- The next time police knock at your door, be careful what you do next. Any sound you make inside could grant police the authority to search your home without a warrant.

That's the result of last week's misguided Supreme Court decision expanding the definition of an exigent circumstance under which police can conduct a warrantless search. In an 8-1 ruling, the court created a new precedent that grants law enforcement the power to bypass a warrant based on arbitrary standards, which could be as minimal as "hearing" evidence being destroyed. We strongly disagree with the court because, in the words of dissenting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it "arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement."

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution explicitly protects an individual from unreasonable searches. To search a home, law enforcement must first obtain a warrant based on probable cause. Only in exigent circumstances, such as imminent danger, while pursuing a suspect, or to prevent the destruction of evidence, are police allowed to search a home without a warrant.

The case of Kentucky v. King addressed the question of whether police can themselves create the emergency conditions to bypass the need for a warrant. While pursuing a drug suspect, police smelled marijuana from an apartment. They knocked on the door, identified themselves as police and then heard what sounded like evidence being destroyed. The knock at the door, the police argued, scared the suspects into destroying evidence, and thereby constituted the exigent circumstance to justify their warrantless search.

What does evidence being destroyed sound like? The court shrewdly tossed this crucial question back to the Kentucky Supreme Court. However, the high court offered a broad precedent that allows police the nearly unfettered power to manufacture an emergency. The court only explicitly excluded exigent circumstances where police violate or threaten to violate the Fourth Amendment.

Justice Ginsburg explained how this ruling will empower police to conduct more warrantless searches. "In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, nevermind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant," she explained in her dissenting opinion.

The process of obtaining a warrant doesn't just protect the accused; it also minimizes the number of "wrong door" police raids that injure and kill innocents. In this very case, police picked the wrong apartment that did not conceal their intended suspect. The Cato Institute, which tracks botched police raids, has called the problem "an epidemic of isolated incidents." We can expect more of them.

Defenders of liberty should be worried by this easy circumvention of the Fourth Amendment. It violates basic tenets of a free society: that individuals are presumed innocent; that our homes are our private sanctuaries; and that government can search our property only after obtaining a warrant.

-------------------------------- Thanks, Rich

Reply to
Rich Grise
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Although I am a staunch supporter of the police and our judicial system, for once I agree. This, I believe, is infringing on our Constitutional rights.

Thanks, John

Reply to
John KD5YI

Then you're staunchly support people who want most deeply to deprive you of something you evidently care about, if not deeply enough to pay attention to what those you staunchly support are actively working towards eliminating.

Load the supreme court with goons for a few decades, stuff like this is bound to happen. You might want to quietly reinforce your door, so at least you'll have a minute or two while they send for the "blow it off the hinges" squad. Call it tornado-resistance, not protecting your right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, of course. But don't expect any rights at all - the court has been stocked with people that think you have none, and corporations have them all - so they make it so.

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Thanks, Rich

Reply to
Rich Grise

reminds me of southpark hunting, guess I'm not the only one :)

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Rich, this disturbs me too, along with some pretty credible constitutional scholars. Could be the most dangerous BOR decision in decades.

And this just following that marine that got killed in Tucson - wrong house SWAT raid.


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Well let me make you piss your pants if you live in Indiana.

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These people that slavishly believe that more and more government is best for society are half the root of the problem, those that believe in freedom but fail to vote are the other half.


-- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller

Reply to

are the other

Bloody scary, that.

This just in:

I was eating lunch on the 20th of February with my 10-year-old granddaughter and I asked her, "What day is tomorrow?"

She said "It's President's Day!"

She is a smart kid.

I asked "What does President's Day mean?" I was waiting for something about Washington, Lincoln, etc.

She replied, "President's Day is when President Obama steps out of the White House, and if he sees his shadow we have one more year of unemployment."

You know, it hurts when hot coffee spurts out your nose...

...Aspire to Inspire before you Expire...

-- Education should provide the tools for a widening and deepening of life, for increased appreciation of all one sees or experiences. It should equip a person to live life well, to understand what is happening around him, for to live life well one must live life with awareness. -- Louis L'Amour

Reply to
Larry Jaques

I just found that out a few seconds ago ;)

Reply to

What did you expect would happen ?

--Iin these situations it's sometimes helpful to realize that 5 of the 9 sitting SCOTUS justices were appointed during Republican controlled Federal administrations.

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