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Alito's vote breaks 4-4 tie in police search case
By Bill Mears
CNN



quote:
Thursday, June 15, 2006; Posted: 1:39 p.m. EDT (17:39 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A split Supreme Court ruled Thursday that drug evidence seized in a home search can be used against a suspect even though police failed to knock on the door and wait a "reasonable" amount of time before entering.

The 5-4 decision continues a string of rulings since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that in general give law enforcement greater discretion to carry out search-and-seizure warrants.

President Bush's nominees to the high court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, notably sided with the government.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said disallowing evidence from every "knock-and-announce violation" by officers would lead to the "grave adverse consequence" of a flood of appeals by accused criminals seeking dismissal of their cases. (Opinion -- pdf)

He was joined by Roberts and his fellow conservatives Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Alito.

Scalia added that police might put their lives in danger if they were uncertain when and if entry was legally permissible. "If the consequences of running afoul of the law were so massive, officers would be inclined to wait longer than the law requires -- producing inevitable violence against officers in some cases, and the destruction of evidence in many others."

The justices sparred in an appeal they are hearing for a second time, and reflected the deep divisions that remain on a court divided along ideological lines. There was little unanimity over how to ensure law enforcement officers do not routinely violate the constitutional protection against "unreasonable searches-and-seizures."

The appeal involves Booker Hudson, a Detroit, Michigan, man whose case has wound its way through various courts for nearly seven years.

Seven city police officers executed a search warrant in August 1998 on Hudson's home, finding crack cocaine on him and around the residence, as well as a gun.

Prosecutors said officers shouted "Police, search warrant," but readily admit that they did not knock on the door and that they waited only three to five seconds before entering and finding Hudson sitting on his couch. He was eventually convicted of drug possession.

"People have the right to answer the door in a dignified manner," Hudson's lawyer David Moran had told the high court. The justices have ruled in the past that police should announce their presence, then normally wait 15 to 20 seconds before bursting into a home.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a lengthy dissent, saying, "Our Fourth Amendment traditions place a high value upon protecting privacy in the home." A centerpiece of those protections, he said, includes the "exclusionary rule," under which evidence seized in illegal searches should be suppressed at trial.

"It weakens, perhaps destroys, much of the practical value of the Constitution's knock-and-announce protection," concluded Breyer, who said he fears police will now feel free to routinely violate the knocking and waiting requirements, knowing they might not be punished for it.

Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg supported Breyer's position.

The majority-conservative court has been generally supportive of police discretion since the 9/11 attacks, including disputes over home and car searches, suspect interrogations, and sobriety and border checkpoints. Several of the more liberal justices have disagreed sharply in many of those cases.

The high court has already ruled on two other search-and-seizure cases this term. In March, it said police were wrong to search a Georgia man's home over his objections, even though his estranged wife gave her consent. And last month, police in Utah investigating reports of a loud party were found to be justified entering a home under "emergency circumstances" to break up a fight, even though they did not have a search warrant to enter.

Alito turned out to be the deciding vote in the Hudson case. He was not yet on the bench when the case was first argued in January. His predecessor, Sandra Day O'Connor, heard the case and appeared to support the defendant.

But she retired before a decision was issued and, under court rules, her vote did not count. That left a 4-4 tie, prompting the court to rehear the arguments.



Hello police state.
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quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Scalia added that police might put their lives in danger if they were uncertain when and if entry was legally permissible. "If the consequences of running afoul of the law were so massive, officers would be inclined to wait longer than the law requires -- producing inevitable violence against officers in some cases, and the destruction of evidence in many others."

OK, that makes sense. Loosen the law so the people enforcing the law don't have to worry about actually knowing the law. Roll Eyes

quote:
Hello police state.

Yep.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Scalia added that police might put their lives in danger if they were uncertain when and if entry was legally permissible. "If the consequences of running afoul of the law were so massive, officers would be inclined to wait longer than the law requires -- producing inevitable violence against officers in some cases, and the destruction of evidence in many others."

OK, that makes sense. Loosen the law so the people enforcing the law don't have to worry about actually knowing the law. Roll Eyes

quote:
Hello police state.

Yep.


Prelude to anarchy.
Just like I said, JWC. This is a prelude to anarchy. Unlike our parents and grandparents, this generation will not be singing, they will be swinging...maybe shooting.---Huey

Like you, I really don't like the feel of this.

In those communities where we have true leadership, those persons need to be in the City Halls telling the mayor, who by the way is the head of the entire police department, you will not put up with bullshit behind this Supreme Court ruling.

Let that man know that he had better be right when he kicks down a door.

Absolutely right.

If the mayor has no reason to be concern, he will allow his police to walk right down our throats behind this.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
Just like I said, JWC. This is a prelude to anarchy. Unlike our parents and grandparents, this generation will not be singing, they will be swinging...maybe shooting.

If they're not already, many of our communities will become American Fallujahs.



Huey, I'm afraid anarchy would be a much better fate... they're building more prisons and giving the police even more power... this generation will be neither swinging nor shooting ... at least not for very long.... they'll be either dying or serving time...
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
Just like I said, JWC. This is a prelude to anarchy. Unlike our parents and grandparents, this generation will not be singing, they will be swinging...maybe shooting.

If they're not already, many of our communities will become American Fallujahs.



Huey, I'm afraid anarchy would be a much better fate... they're building more prisons and giving the police even more power... this generation will be neither swinging nor shooting ... at least not for very long.... they'll be either dead or serving time...


When we say "anarchy", what type of anarchy or we talking here? Do we mean "anarchy" as in chaos and pandemonium, or "anarchy" as in the legitimate social philosophy?

If we mean the latter, which type of anarchy? Anarcho-communism? Anarcho-mutualism? Anarcho-individualism? Anarcho-syndicalism? Green anarchy? Or "anarcho"-capitalism? Smile
When we say "anarchy", what type of anarchy or we talking here? Do we mean "anarchy" as in chaos and pandemonium, or "anarchy" as in the legitimate social philosophy?---Empty Purnata

I understood 'anarchy' to mean 'knockin' heads'.

Sooner, rather than later, the arrogance of law enforcement in our urban areas, and some not-so-urban areas, will these 'champin;-at-the-bit' fools they can go into anyone house.

When they run into the wrong house, they will have to do SOMETHING.

They will NOT say, 'Oops', Sorry.

They will meet the inevitable resistence with gun fire.

Somebody will get hurt, maybe made dead.

The ship will hit the sand.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
Just like I said, JWC. This is a prelude to anarchy. Unlike our parents and grandparents, this generation will not be singing, they will be swinging...maybe shooting.

If they're not already, many of our communities will become American Fallujahs.



Huey, I'm afraid anarchy would be a much better fate... they're building more prisons and giving the police even more power... this generation will be neither swinging nor shooting ... at least not for very long.... they'll be either dead or serving time...


When we say "anarchy", what type of anarchy or we talking here? Do we mean "anarchy" as in chaos and pandemonium, or "anarchy" as in the legitimate social philosophy?

If we mean the latter, which type of anarchy? Anarcho-communism? Anarcho-mutualism? Anarcho-individualism? Anarcho-syndicalism? Green anarchy? Or "anarcho"-capitalism? Smile


I hope we do go to blows, but that will happen after Big Brother tries to put the Fascist smack down on us like HB said, then maybe we can have some anarcho-socialism (EP you forgot one)...lol

It's going to get much worse before it gets better.
quote:
Originally posted by MidLifeMan:
quote:
Prelude to anarchy


More like Prelude to the New Colonialism...remember...it's a New WORLD Order they are working towards


Sorry, neo-colonialism already exists(Amerikkkan foregn policy capitalist globbalization)... fascism is the next stop as far as Amerikkkan internal policay is concerned.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
Just like I said, JWC. This is a prelude to anarchy. Unlike our parents and grandparents, this generation will not be singing, they will be swinging...maybe shooting.

If they're not already, many of our communities will become American Fallujahs.



Huey, I'm afraid anarchy would be a much better fate... they're building more prisons and giving the police even more power... this generation will be neither swinging nor shooting ... at least not for very long.... they'll be either dead or serving time...


When we say "anarchy", what type of anarchy or we talking here? Do we mean "anarchy" as in chaos and pandemonium, or "anarchy" as in the legitimate social philosophy?

If we mean the latter, which type of anarchy? Anarcho-communism? Anarcho-mutualism? Anarcho-individualism? Anarcho-syndicalism? Green anarchy? Or "anarcho"-capitalism? Smile


I hope we do go to blows, but that will happen after Big Brother tries to put the Fascist smack down on us like HB said, then maybe we can have some anarcho-socialism (EP you forgot one)...lol


Oh I'm sure Fascism is right around the corner like you said in your last post, lol. (Isn't anarcho-socialism in the same category as anarcho-communism?) I put "anarcho"-capitalism in quotation marks because most anarchists of the aforementioned flavors reject it as real "anarchy" (how can anarchy have hierarchical ownership?). Even anarcho-individualists and anarcho-mutualists who believe in the market system claim to be anti-capitalists.

quote:
It's going to get much worse before it gets better.


Oh yes it certainly is going to get much worse before we see the light at the end of the tunnel. But many the American public needs that, they need to be shaken out of ignorant apathy. Most Americans are still more worried about American Idol than their social, economic and political futures or foreign policy.

Like that old saying, "Sometimes it's darkest just before dawn."
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Oh yes it certainly is going to get much worse before we see the light at the end of the tunnel. But many the American public needs that, they need to be shaken out of ignorant apathy. Most Americans are still more worried about American Idol than their social, economic and political futures or foreign policy.

Like that old saying, "Sometimes it's darkest just before dawn."


Exactly, that is why the more fascist I see this country becoming the happier I get. More Guantanimo concentration camps! More destruction of our civil liberties and rights!(both a sign of desperation on Big brothers part) More imperialist wars with secret European toture camps! The worse they get, the more the people will wake up... and then Babylon can burn!
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Oh yes it certainly is going to get much worse before we see the light at the end of the tunnel. But many the American public needs that, they need to be shaken out of ignorant apathy. Most Americans are still more worried about American Idol than their social, economic and political futures or foreign policy.

Like that old saying, "Sometimes it's darkest just before dawn."


Exactly, that is why the more fascist I see this country becoming the happier I get. More Guantanimo concentration camps! More destruction of our civil liberties and rights!(both a sign of desperation on Big brothers part) More imperialist wars with secret European toture camps! The worse they get, the more the people will wake up... and then Babylon can burn!


I know how you feel, sis. Wink

But my worry is for the people in "second" and "third" world nations. I'm worried about how many of them will die until we wake up (hell, the whole world needs to wake the F up). I'm also particularly worried about how much more Mother Earth can take before the environment is thoroughly trashed beyond repair before Big Oil goes out of business. Frown

I'm afraid that millions may perish before the masses are shaken from their illusions.

There's also the possibility that Fascism may cause the public to become even more fervently loyal and devoted to Establishment. I'm sure that every bad thing that happens, they'll blame "them Arabs" or "them Mexicans" or "the Blacks", and I'm sure they'll justify the Fascism with "It's just making us safer. Innocent citizens have nothing to hide." Or they'll just have Fascism and continue calling it "economic freedom" and "democracy" and "the American way". sck *barf*

But I think at some point, the public is going to have to wake up. And when that time comes, those of us who want radical/progressive change for an egalitarian and truly democratic society should be there to expose them to the truth.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
I know how you feel, sis. Wink

But my worry is for the people in "second" and "third" world nations. I'm worried about how many of them will die until we wake up (hell, the whole world needs to wake the F up). I'm also particularly worried about how much more Mother Earth can take before the environment is thoroughly trashed beyond repair before Big Oil goes out of business. Frown

I'm afraid that millions may perish before the masses are shaken from their illusions.


I have the same worries and totally agree with you! It disgusts me to see the suffering that Western imperialism places on the masses of humanity.

Mother nature will survive, it is just a matter of a few elite destroying the rest of is and some animal/plant life...The Earth will always recover, with or without us humans.

quote:
There's also the possibility that Fascism may cause the public to become even more fervently loyal and devoted to Establishment. I'm sure that every bad thing that happens, they'll blame "them Arabs" or "them Mexicans" or "the Blacks", and I'm sure they'll justify the Fascism with "It's just making us safer. Innocent citizens have nothing to hide." Or they'll just have Fascism and continue calling it "economic freedom" and "democracy" and "the American way". sck *barf*


Yes, hence my plan to go abroad. Some folks say that is running, but I think that is the equivalent to saying the 'Jews' who left Germany because they say the Nazo regime forming were 'running'...yah, for their lives.

quote:
But I think at some point, the public is going to have to wake up. And when that time comes, those of us who want radical/progressive change for an egalitarian and truly democratic society should be there to expose them to the truth.


That's why I haven't cut and run...yet.
Editorial
The Don't-Bother-to-Knock Rule

Published: June 16, 2006

The Supreme Court yesterday substantially diminished Americans' right to privacy in their own homes. The rule that police officers must "knock and announce" themselves before entering a private home is a venerable one, and a well-established part of Fourth Amendment law. But President Bush's two recent Supreme Court appointments have now provided the votes for a 5-4 decision eviscerating this rule.

This decision should offend anyone, liberal or conservative, who worries about the privacy rights of ordinary Americans.

The case arose out of the search of Booker T. Hudson's home in Detroit in 1998. The police announced themselves but did not knock, and after waiting a few seconds, entered his home and seized drugs and a gun. There is no dispute that the search violated the knock-and-announce rule.

The question in the case was what to do about it. Mr. Hudson wanted the evidence excluded at his trial. That is precisely what should have happened. Since 1914, the Supreme Court has held that, except in rare circumstances, evidence seized in violation of the Constitution cannot be used. The exclusionary rule has sometimes been criticized for allowing criminals to go free just because of police error. But as the court itself recognized in that 1914 case, if this type of evidence were admissible, the Fourth Amendment "might as well be stricken."

The court ruled yesterday that the evidence could be used against Mr. Hudson. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, argued that even if police officers did not have to fear losing a case if they disobeyed the knock-and-announce rule, the subjects of improper searches could still bring civil lawsuits to challenge them. But as the dissenters rightly pointed out, there is little chance that such suits would keep the police in line. Justice Scalia was also far too dismissive of the important privacy rights at stake, which he essentially reduced to "the right not to be intruded upon in one's nightclothes." Justice Stephen Breyer noted in dissent that even a century ago the court recognized that when the police barge into a house unannounced, it is an assault on "the sanctity of a man's home and the privacies of life."

If Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had stayed on the court, this case might well have come out the other way. For those who worry that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito will take the court in a radically conservative direction, it is sobering how easily the majority tossed aside a principle that traces back to 13th-century Britain, and a legal doctrine that dates to 1914, to let the government invade people's homes.

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