Oh, that Slippery Slope

Apparently, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 7th Circuit has decided that the police can search your cell phone without a warrant.   Apparently, part of the court’s reasoning is identical to the line of reasoning it used in allowing warrantless traffic stops: the intrusion is “so slight” as to not be “unreasonable.”  This has led me to wonder: when was the last time the court read the 4th and Amendment?

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

 

If the police do not have specific knowledge of what they are looking for and exactly where it is, then they are on a “fishing trip,” and that is not “reasonable.”  This is just more “justification” of the police State.  And to think that our modern electronic devices are not “papers and effects” is to ignore the meaning of words.  Yes, one may argue that these new devices do not meet the “technical” definition of the wording in the 4th Amendment, but our founders told us we are to look to their intentions in interpreting a law.  Can there be any doubt that the founders’ intentions were to keep private information private?  If not, then the rationality of the person making this “interpretation” should be questioned.

 

Then there is the 5th Amendment:

 

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

 

Given the nature of our electronic media and the things we store on them, coupled with the extensive and pervasive nature of our current legal code, it is almost a given that any search of our cell phone for evidence of one crime can lead to charges on another – and likely for a violation that we didn’t even realize was against the law.  How would this not be self-incrimination?  If the police can just take your phone, your computer or stop and search your car because it is a “small violation” of your rights, where is the “due process?”

 

As one who is sympathetic to the law and order crowd, I understand the inclination to argue that people who obey the law have nothing to worry about.  The problem with that is, today, if you leave your home to go to work, you probably break at least 5 laws every day.  Lucky for you, though, if you stay home all day, you probably only broke 3 laws.  This is part of the problem: the laws have become an enemy of the people and are used to control you and I.  There is no protection of your rights in a nation where such a legal code exists.  But if this is not enough to get you to see the slippery slope we have started to slide down, let me ask you this one question:

 

Can I KILL YOU as long as it is only for “a little while?”  After all, as long as I revive you in less than 1 minute, the violation to your rights will be minimal, so small of an inconvenience as to not represent an “unreasonable” action.  The whole thing could happen in less time than it takes to conduct a traffic stop or cell phone search, so can I kill you?

8 thoughts on “Oh, that Slippery Slope

  1. Hey Joe … first all, right on target (again), and it’s been a point I have been meaning to do some research on, and discuss here. However, been a bit too busy to dig in to it.

    Yesterday I caught part of a conversation on B. Thompson’s show about how a police officer can voice record a traffic stop, but a citizen may not. Burnie admitted he did not know if there was in fact a FL Statute to support that claim, or not. Additionally, Doc is posting about the TSA and their recent uniform changes to make them look more “police like”.

    Have you seen, heard, or otherwise looked in to any of this stuff? If not, no biggie. I had planned on looking in to it this afternoon when I got home.

    This topic is the exact topic I had been waiting for to raise issues such as those.

    • Not sure it will answer the question you’re asking, but I know this:

      The govt. cannot LEGITIMATELY do anything that you and I can’t do. As the govt. is “supposed” to be of and by the People, it can only be given that authority that we have as individuals. Neither you nor I have a “right” to tape each other while refusing the other the “right” to do so in return. What’s more, as “citizen legislators” (our founders would have called it freemen), we SHOULD have the “right” to tape and monitor our law enforcement as they are “supposedly” acting in our name and by our authority.

      but then, this is all based on the founding ideology set forth in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution. Unfortunately, not only has our govt. rejected the inherent purpose and restrictions therein, we – as a society – have abandoned our desire to demand our govt. stay in line with our founding ideals and principles.

      I know this is NOT the answer, but I keep hearing a quote by Jefferson ringing in my head more and more often these days… 😉

      • Yes sir, that’s the part I DO understand. 🙂

        I’ll try to find/or not find the statute later. If there is one, I will likely call, or write Jimmy.

        • Augger,

          Sadly, the honest answer is: it doesn’t matter – they’ll do whatever they want and justify it later, and then, only AFTER someone complains.

          But no, I haven’t bothered to look into the specifics of this issue. Frankly, there is so much going on right now, and new stuff being added at such a rate, I feel the nation is being herded and the majority are running toward the cliff like a bunch of lemmings. I’m starting to wonder whether it is worth trying to halt the stampede. Maybe those of us who see the calamity ahead should start looking for parachutes as these lemmings are going to carry us over the edge with them.

          • Talking with a local physician today that is Jewish, who said if this POTUS gets re-elected, he will be moving to Israel.

            I do not blame him.

  2. Ah yes, the new TSA “police like” uniforms;

    “The initiative was guided by the basic principle that dress and appearance should promote esprit de corps within the workforce while instilling trust and confidence in the public. The uniform, in particular, is to stand as a readily identifiable symbol of the security mission and role of the TSO in executing the agency’s core values: integrity, innovation, and team spirit.”

    http://www.tsa.gov/press/happenings/tso_uniform.shtm

    Integrity, innovation, and team spirit. Yeah, sure, uh huh.

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