Thursday, March 06, 2008

The End of the Fourth

Constitution? What Constitution?

Citing recent killing rampages in the United States, a federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a Maryland firefighter’s claim that Gaithersburg police unreasonably searched his home and took his collection of 41 guns and ammunition after responding to a report that he was armed, suicidal and could be a threat to his co-workers.

In a 3-0 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the police were justified in conducting the warrantless search and seizure in an era of unprecedented domestic carnage at schools, workplaces and shopping malls.

“Police, then, simply must be entitled to take effective preventive action when evidence surfaces of an individual who intends slaughter,” Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote for the panel. “Respecting the rights of individuals has never required running a risk of mass death.”

It's not even a matter of "re-interpreting" the Constitution any more- simply ignoring it seems to suffice. I wonder what other inalienable rights the Courts and Police will now be able to simply by-pass - for the greater good of course.

In short this man was speaking to a health worker and said he felt suicidal. She called police and within a minute they were on their way to his home. They arrested and handcuffed him- ten minutes later. And then they conducted the illegal search of his home; even though he was no longer an immediate threat to anyone.

The city of Gaithersburg and its police countered that the warrantless search and seizure were constitutional because of the compelling need to protect the public from the possibility that Mora had planted a bomb or had an accomplice inside his apartment. The U.S. District Court agreed with the city, prompting Mora’s appeal.

There's no evidence he planned to build or plant a bomb or that a suicidal man would need an accomplice- and yet the court accepted this preposterous notion because of the times we live in.
So much for the Fourth Amendment. Would it really have been so hard to call a judge and get a warrant after they had arrested their suspect?

Why this isn't being covered on the front page of every newspaper in the USA with outrage and demands for the judges in question to be stripped of their right to sit in court is beyond me. Bear in mind too that there is now a legal precedent for the police to conduct warrantless searches for the flimsiest of excuses and with no evidence to back them up- other than you might be a threat to someone.

Does the Constitution mean nothing any more?

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Does the Constitution mean nothing any more?

Only where it protects the free speech of communist indoctrination.

Other than that? Nope. It's toilet paper our courts and legislatures wipe their collective asses with.

But thanks for asking!