Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The 4th amendment's last stand

Front paged at Booman Tribune and My Left Wing. Recommended at Daily Kos

Is today (or this week) going to effectively all but be the end of the 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizures? On one hand, this does not seem to be anything that hasn’t been thought or written about before. Yet on the other hand, it is the 4th friggin Amendment we are talking about here. And, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal to many people (present company excluded, of course) – that is, if they even know about it.

The Democratic members of Congress who inexplicably let a bill sponsored by the Minority Leader get passed which gave Alberto Gonzales - an Attorney General so bad that hearing him be called a “sneaky lying SOB” and the “most dangerous” attorney general is a daily occurrence - more power to spy on Americans are smacking themselves. Senator Reid, no doubt feeling the hangover and sinking feeling after a long night of being screwed in an utterly embarrassing way, is calling for a “do over”.

But just as you can’t get a do over on losing your virginity, you don’t just get rights back that were taken away or given up as easily as these were. This is a bigger disappointment, or at least very close to as big a disappointment as the stunning collapse on the Iraq supplemental bill.

And on the same day as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals hears not one but two cases on domestic spying, we are treated to news that nobody in the administration gives a rat’s ass about anything other than whatever they feel like doing and the government is expanding domestic use of spy satellites.

Why settle for just a stick in the eye when you can make it a flaming stick, right?

It is amazing enough that even one of these things is going on, let alone all of them. At the same time. What makes this even more surreal is that, even with all of the evidence that has been leaked, presented, testified about or discussed with respect to acts that are (1) not legal, (2) admitted to being authorized and/or done by the highest levels of this administration, (3) pretty much with full knowledge that they were not legal when they were being done or authorized. what was the general response to all of this, for this long period of time?




(sound of crickets chirping).....




The government (not to mention) AT&T argues there is no secret data mining or illegal surveillance. Except when there is. But even still, it doesn’t matter because even if it did exist, it is a matter of national security and can’t be discussed. Or denied, even though denying it acknowledges that it can be denied, even though there is nothing to deny in the first place. But the spy satellites are there to monitor “terrorists only”, and won’t be used for nefarious purposes either. Well, not either, per se, because there is nothing else that is being done anyway. Or not being done.

And if the Ninth Circuit thinks that is a peachy keen argument, or even if it calls bullshit on that outrageously arrogant and childish argument – it will go on from here. The Supreme Court will either deny cert (more likely, to me) if the government wins, or will grant cert really just needing one vote to effectively replace the text of the 4th Amendment with one word and a date:

”Striken”, 2007

Now, who in the Senate can say that voting against Roberts, Alito and Gonzales while still voting for cloture on their “upperdown votes” wasn’t such a big deal?


Anonymous said...

There is a much juriprudence on the 4th Amendment and apparently you forgot to read it. It was not until the Miranda decisions that U.S. citizens were even provided with things like a search warrant right. Many legal scholars continue to question the validity of these cases. Finally, the 4th Amendment and the privileges of the U.S. Constitution only applies to U.S. citizens, non-citizens to which the spying operations have been applied.

Should it surprise me that the Left wants to expand Constitutional protections to those who are not even entitled to them such as international terrorists?

I have had enough of these claims of Constitutional violations from those who have never read it or understand the Constitution.

Finally, shut up already about Gonzalez. Where were you when Janet Reno was using the Justice Department as a vehicle to cover-up the campaign finance abuses that occurred during the Boy President's failed reign. He even took money from Enron, which was propped up by corrupt business cronies in the accounting industry.


Ulysses said...

Anonymous-- maybe the text of the actual 4th Amendment would be helpful to you, since you apparently forgot to read it:

"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."

The Bill of Rights, including this 4th Amendment, was ratified in 1791. The Miranda decisions were rendered by our Supreme Court in 1966. So, as most Americans with an 8th grade education know-- our search warrant rights had been enjoyed by U.S. citizens for 175 years before the Miranda decisions.

Your nonsense about Reno doesn't even merit a response.

Ulysses said...

BTW, great post Clammyc!