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items tagged with Fourth Amendment

Ted Rall: Sexual Assault Vs. Reasonable Search
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2013-06-07 19:48:52



The U.S. Supreme Court: Architects of the American Police State
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2013-02-27 16:16:14

“The unspoken power dynamics in a police/civilian encounter will generally favor the police, unless the civilian is a local sports hero, the mayor, or a giant who is impervious to bullets.” – Journalist Justin Peters

From time to time throughout history, individuals have been subjected to charges (and eventual punishment) by accusers whose testimony was treated as infallible and inerrant. Once again, we find ourselves repeating history, only this time, it’s the police whose testimony is too often considered beyond reproach and whose accusations have the power to render one’s life over.

In the police state being erected around us, the police can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts. Making matters worse, however, police dogs – cute, furry, tail-wagging mascots with a badge – have now been elevated to the ranks of inerrant, infallible, sanctimonious accusers with the power of the state behind them. This is largely due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Florida V. Harris, in which the court declared roadside stops to be Constitution-free zones where police may search our vehicles based upon a hunch and the presence of a frisky canine.

This is what one would call a slow death by a thousand cuts, only it’s the Fourth Amendment being inexorably bled to death. This latest wound, in which a unanimous Supreme Court determined that police officers may use drug-sniffing dogs to conduct warrantless searches of cars during routine traffic stops, comes on the heels of recent decisions by the court that give police the green light to taser defenseless motorists, strip-search nonviolent suspects arrested for minor incidents, and break down people’s front doors without evidence that they have done anything wrong.


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Ted Rall: Call Scalia
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2012-04-23 11:18:54



Ted Rall: This Calls for Creative Hacking
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2012-04-13 11:48:10



Strip-Searching America: The Supreme Court Favors Abuse Over the Bill of Rights
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2012-04-12 11:53:02

In a devastating 5-4 ruling that not only condones an overreach of state power but legitimizes what is essentially state-sponsored humiliation and visual rape, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 2 declared that any person who is arrested and processed at a jail house can be subjected to a strip search. The severity of the offense is irrelevant – they can be guilty of nothing more than a minor traffic offense – and police or jail officials don’t need to have a reasonable suspicion that an arrestee is carrying a weapon or contraband. The five-man majority rationalized their ruling as being necessary for safety, security, and efficiency – the government’s overused and all-too-convenient justifications for its steady erosion of our freedoms since 9/11.


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