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US Supreme Court kills off Fourth Amendment

From today’s Seattle Times:



The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more leeway to break into homes or apartments in search of illegal drugs when they suspect the evidence might be destroyed.

The justices said officers who smell marijuana and loudly knock on the door may break in if they hear sounds that suggest the residents are scurrying to hide the drugs.

Residents who “attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame” when police burst in, Justice Samuel Alito said for an 8-1 majority.

In effect, cops do not need a warrant any more to break into your home: the suspicion that you might have drugs and might be destroying the evidence is sufficient grounds for armed thugs to break down your door, invade your home, threaten you with guns and seize whatever property catches their eye. Without a warrant detailing what can be taken, they can take anything; without formal documentation of what was seized, there is no guarantee that you will ever see your things again.

Between airport security and this new ruling, the Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure is effectively dead. More and more, the Constitution and its “guaranteed” protections is becoming nothing more than a collection of quaint, outdated and irrelevantly silly notions.

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Gregory Gadow

Gregory Gadow

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