SHREDDING THE 4TH AMENDMENT: A CRIMINAL WORK IN PROGRESS

SHREDDING THE 4TH AMENDMENT: A CRIMINAL WORK IN PROGRESS

   The Supreme Court gave yet another middle finger to the Constitution this week in a ruling on Tuesday that expanded police powers in a way that myself and other true conservatives agree violates the 4th Amendment.

     The essence of the ruling is this: if you and I are living together, and the police show up at the door and want to search our residence, they can do so if only one of us consents to the search, as long as the one who objects is arrested. Previously, both of us would have had to be in agreement over allowing law enforcement officials to enter and for the search to take place. The point about “being arrested” requires further explanation.

     Samuel Alito, that eternal crusader for constitutional liberties, wrote that because a resident may not refuse a search of their home if they are not on the premises, it follows that the Supreme Court “therefore hold[s] that an occupant who is absent due to a lawful detention or arrest stands in the same shoes as an occupant who is absent for any other reason.”

     Except it doesn’t.

     As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated in her dissent , “Fernandez’s objection to the search did not become null upon his arrest and removal from the scene.”

     In other words, Fernandez, whom we shall meet in a moment, having been arrested, was as absent from the scene as if he were vacationing in Guantanamo Bay.

     The background for the 6-3 decision is as follows: California resident Walter Fernandez told law enforcement authorities they could not enter his Los Angeles home. They arrested him and left with him in tow. Later that day, they went back to Fernandez’s apartment and again requested that they be allowed to enter and conduct a search. This time it was his girlfriend Roxanne Rojas whom they asked, and she let them inside. In the course of the ensuing search, they found contraband including a knife and a shotgun. This evidence was used to help convict Mr. Fernandez of weapons and robbery charges, for which he is currently enjoying a fourteen-year prison sentence.

     This decision overturns an earlier 5-3 ruling by the Supreme Court that if either of two inhabitants of a residence wished to deny law enforcement officials entry, then police could not enter.

     Significantly, all three of the dissenting Justices are supposedly liberal. The others, including turncoat John Roberts and several supposed constitutional fundamentalists, who would never legislate from the bench, merrily participated in the further shredding of what little remains (if anything) of 4th Amendment protections concerning illegal search and seizure.

     I find it consistently alarming that so-called conservative and liberal judges and politicians are mostly united in the championing of greater powers for law enforcement for the alleged purpose of catching criminals and terrorists.  Where are those to champion liberty? Rand Paul is consistent in his denunciation of this arbitrary extensions of executive power by the courts (as are other lesser known conservatives), but the GOP establishment and the vast majority of current Democrats (including all the mindless zombies addicted to the precious Big Brother apologist MSNBC and the sophistry of a Chris Matthews) routinely attempt to throw the consitutional rights of their fellow Americans under the bus of tyranny, as evidenced by the erotic fervor with which they have embraced the Patriot Act, PRISM, and all similarly authoritarian contortions of law.

     There is more to the background of Tuesday’s ruling worth mentioning. When the police first knocked on Fernandez’s door, his girlfriend answered wearing a bloody shirt, with bloody hands, and with a contusion on her nose. She informed police that she had “been in a fight.” This was when Mr. Fernandez emerged and told the officers to leave the residence, informing them that he knew what his rights were under the Constitution. Believing a domestic violence incident had taken place, the police detained him, and then arrested him upon seeing a tattoo he had that was similar to a tattoo possessed by a known robbery suspect.

     The majority in Tuesday’s ruling tried to justify the illegal search and seizure of the residence that occurred later that afternoon in light of the suspicions of domestic violence. The three liberal dissenters disagreed, claiming that they did not object to his being arrested for domestic violence, but to the fact that law enforcement officials later searched Fernandez’s residence without bothering to get a warrant, even though the tattoo certainly would have served as sufficient probable cause to do so.

     Rojas’ willingness to let authorities into the home should not have negated her boyfriend’s refusal to do so. In the absence of a warrant, I and other libertarian conservatives object to this as a blatant violation of 4th Amendment rights.

     A shining city on a hill isn’t demolished overnight. It requires thousand of vicious little termites to eat away at its buildings’ foundations, letting these buildings gradually fall into ruins around their inhabitants, leaving them stranded in a wilderness of tyranny. Every judge that voted for this ruling is another little termite, gnawing away at our homes, a would-be devourer of liberty’s barely beating heart.

Thomas Davis – NEWSslinger Contributor