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"No constitutional rights" update! SC says 4th Amendment doesn't apply if you're in a car. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-23 14:17
  Subject:   "No constitutional rights" update! SC says 4th Amendment doesn't apply if you're in a car.
Public
  Tags:  politics, reddit

The Supreme Court affirmed Wednesday that police have the power to conduct searches and seize evidence, even when done during an arrest that turns out to have violated state law. The unanimous decision comes in a case from Portsmouth, Va., where city detectives seized crack cocaine from a motorist after arresting him for a traffic ticket offense.

David Lee Moore was pulled over for driving on a suspended license. The violation is a minor crime in Virginia and calls for police to issue a court summons and let the driver go. Instead, city detectives arrested Moore, and prosecutors say that drugs taken from him in the subsequent search can be used against him as evidence.

Moore argued that the Fourth Amendment permits a search only following a lawful state arrest. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled that police should have released Moore and could not lawfully conduct a search. State law, said the Virginia Supreme Court, restricted officers to issuing a ticket in exchange for a promise to appear later in court. Virginia courts dismissed the indictment against Moore.

The Supreme Court disagreed. "We reaffirm against a novel challenge what we have signaled for half a century," Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote. Scalia said that when officers have probable cause to believe a person has committed a crime in their presence, the Fourth Amendment permits them to make an arrest and to search the suspect in order to safeguard evidence and ensure their own safety.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080423/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_search

http://reddit.com/r/politics/info/6guj3/comments/

I'm disappointed but hardly surprised to hear this. Ever since the Supreme Court revoked the right to privacy for your car a few years ago, also in the name of our misguided war on some drugs, this was almost certainly inevitable. Remember, kids - Cops can search your car (and anyone in your car) at any time, for any reason (including no reason), whether you have committed a crime or not, whether you are under arrest or not, and the Supreme Court says that it's a-ok. Whether you're a driver or a passenger, you have no right to privacy what so ever when you're in your car. None.

And that by itself is bad enough. But what seems even worse to me is that this appears to set a precedent where a police officer can "arrest first - ask questions later." If they just happen to feel like searching your house, they can arrest you at your house for no reason, search your house, and then use whatever they find against you. A back-door revocation of the 4th Amendment? Sure sounds like it to me.

To the Liberals: How much longer before they falsely arrest you, open your closet, find your banned weed... and toss you in jail?

To the Conservatives: How much longer before they falsely arrest you, open your closet, find your banned handgun... and toss you in jail?
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osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2008-04-23 23:16 (UTC)
  Subject:   Let us not forget...
... searches of laptops at the border.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080423-laptop-searches-at-the-border-no-reason-no-problem.html

If i'm inside the US, there needs to be probable cause and a warrant (well that's how it used to work anyway.) If I'm a US citizen outside the US and I'm being taken in by US officers, they still need probable cause and a warrant. But if you're on the border, nothing applies! Gotta love those technicalities.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-24 04:21 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The best part are the warmongers who tell me, "You should be grateful to the troops who are out there protecting your rights and freedoms!"

Don't know if you've been paying attention, Jack, but I have *fewer* rights now compared to, say, 10 years ago. I guess curbing personal liberties and chipping away at my rights and freedoms don't count when its your own government doing it?

I have learned a valuable lesson out of all this, though. When the threats are external, you shoot your guns, yell "Yeehaw!", and go invade a country; that = patriotic. When the threat is internal and you question the government's motives and practices, you are a pinko, commie bastard and that means you = unpatriotic fraud.

Also, as a bit of absurd humor, I would find it the greatest of ironies if China invaded the US in, say, 30 years claiming that our government had been violating its own citizens' rights and personal liberties while being a clear, present, and imminent threat to peace and humanity for being the only country to actually use nuclear weapons twice on another country, and for having/having had the largest stockpile of chemical and biological weapons in the world.


-J
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2008-04-24 17:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The best part are the warmongers who tell me, "You should be grateful to the troops who are out there protecting your rights and freedoms!"

For me the best part is telling them that I am a foreigner, and therefore I wish defeat and disgrace to those hostile troops who are threatening my homeland.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-25 00:56 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Yeah, but that doesn't help those of us who are citizens resolve the issue >.<

In fact, when I think about this, I'm really bothered by it. I like to think that, aside from a handful that makes the majority look bad, that a large chunk of our military is served by honorable men and women. But, if you consider this war to be illegal and/or unjustifiable b/c the 2 predominant reasons for engaging in it (the presence/existence of wmds and ties with terror groups) are false, what does it say about the troops that are there?

If the original premises for this action is wrong, how can they be right in continuing their presence there? The government that sent them there has already said, several years ago, there are/were no wmds in Iraq. Within the past several months, the Pentagon also determined that there were no AQ ties pre-Iraq war.

The only justification I can come up is that because we are responsible for the current situation of their country, it's also our responsibility to rectify the situation. Our need to stay there now is born out of a massive 'mea culpa' and a, "Here, let us unfuck your country best we can." while proclaiming that we are spreading democracy and freedom (while we curb our own in our country; thy name art irony).


-J
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-04-28 02:29 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Yeah, but that doesn't help those of us who are citizens resolve the issue.

Maybe it's time to not be a citizen any more...
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