Recently by Eric Peters: To Cheap Out — or Not Cheap Out?
Its not hard to pinpoint the exact moments when the Constitution was explicitly disavowed by the robed shysters charged (by themselves) with interpreting it.
Once such moment was 21 years ago, in 1991, when the robed shysters of the Supreme Court interpreted the plain meaning of the Fourth Amendment to mean its opposite.
This was the year of Michigan State Police v. Sitz, the case that decided the legality of random roadside sobriety checkpoints on the basis of compelling state interest, as lead shyster and Badge Licker in Chief William Rehnquist put it.
Basically, the ends justify the means. Getting drunks off the road anyway, anyhow is what matters. Not the Constitution. Hence, screw the rule of law. Just git er done, as they say.
But the Fourth Amendment does not have qualifiers or exceptions. It reads simply:
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.
Note especially the part about shall not be violated. Thats pretty strident and pretty plain language. Theres no room for interpretation just perversion and rationalization, the means by which our robed shysters traduce the legal protections they were charged by oath to affirm and uphold.
Men such as Rehnquist are far from stupid, which makes them all the more loathsome for the tyranny they rain down upon us.
You can argue until youre blue in the face about the Importance of Getting Drunks off the Road (or Getting Terrorists or whatever it maybe). That is not the question and Rehnquist, et al. knew it.
The question is whether the Constitution is the law of the land or not. And decisions such as the one rendered in Sitz prove that it is not. The law is the whim of the state and its interpreters and, of course, its enforcers.
The Constitutions protections do not provide exceptions for any reason period as noted in the Sitz dissent written by William Brennan: stopping every car might make it easier to prevent drunken driving (but this) is an insufficient justification for abandoning the requirement of individualized suspicion.
Exactly. There is no sufficient justification other than specific, individualized suspicion if the Fourth means what it plainly says.
Not that it matters.
And now, we reap the whirlwind.
The Sitz decision established the case law precedent which is the real law of the land, as opposed to the Constitution. Ask any lawyer. What carries legal force is what the various Deeciders say the law is, not what the Constitution says the law is.
Endless ratiocinations compelling state interest being one provide the basis for Talmudic parsing by a profession dedicated to making the intelligible unintelligible, as well as arbitrary precisely the opposite of the intent of the men who wrote our now-inoperative founding documents.
What made America unique in all the world a country in which the individuals rights were explicit and sacrosanct, without qualification, period is gone. Has been gone, for many years now.
The case law precedent established by cases such as Sitz paved the way for the random gropes were now subject to at airports on precisely the same basis of the (supposed) Greater Good, as defined by the robed shysters.
But perhaps the most depressing aspect of this is not the shitting all over the Constitution by the men charged to preserve and protect it. Rather, it is the slavish badge-licking endorsement of the same by freedom loving Americans. If the response to previous columns on the subject is indicative, there are large numbers of people out there who either dont understand the Constitution or (worse) just dont give a damn about it.
Give them some justification some excuse and they will gleefully do a jig on the document.
Ive had several back-and-forths with one of these people, who constantly talks about the need to get drunks off the road. His mentality cant connect the dots or just doesnt want to. He believes that because he doesnt drink, hes got nothing to worry about. But when I try to point out to him that drinking and driving is a sideshow, that once random and arbitrary laws are enacted once the Constitutions (ex) protections become inoperative or qualified at whim by the powers-that-be we are all vulnerable by definition, because that is what arbitrary and random mean. It is akin to turning loose a driverless car with its gas pedal jammed to the floorboards. It can strike anyone and anyone may just be you.
The founders wrote the Bill of Rights to put a driver behind the wheel. To make sure the car stayed on course and did not run off onto the sidewalk, leaving mayhem in its wake.
Oh, I know. The Clovers out there will huff that mayhem is not created by random checkpoints or TSA gropes. Just a temporary indignity and minor inconvenience for the Greater Good.
Reprinted with permission from EricPetersAutos.com.