Why Pretend that the Fourth Amendment Exists?by Will Grigg
Mar. 17, 2014
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At some point, we should formally excise the Fourth Amendment from the Bill of Rights. From the National Security Agency to the local police department, government agencies are contemptuous of the idea of limits on their powers to search and scrutinize us.
A recent ruling by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case from Missouri held that once police have entered a home by any means – including coercion or deception – they can conduct a “protective sweep” of the entire dwelling and use any evidence that is found against the residents. It is not necessary to have “articulable facts” to justify the search, or probable cause for an arrest.
In a separate case, the US Supreme Court ruled that police can conduct a warrantless search of a home when residents disagree about consenting to the search. All that is necessary is to arrest the resident who refuses to permit the search. This obviously creates an incentive for police to commit an unlawful arrest in order to intimidate other occupants into consenting to a warrantless search – which will then be used to find evidence to justify the unlawful arrest.
As the late Joseph Sobran noted, the Constitution poses no threat to our form of government.