Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Admittedly, the title I’ve chosen for this post is inflamatory to say the least, especially when it comes to the sensibilities of those who are anti-gun.
This, however, is a Supreme Court decision that hits very close to home.
Last week, a 5-4 majority led by Justice Antonin Scalia ruled that violation of the “knock-and announce” rule—a custom by which police serving a warrant knock on the suspect’s door and wait some decent period of time
(which in United States V. Banks had been defined as 15 to 20 seconds)—does not require suppression of evidence found in a search. In the case, police searching for drugs and firearms at
the home of suspect Booker T. Hudson announced themselves outside Hudson’s home, did not knock, and failed to wait more than a few seconds before breaking
down his door. They found drugs and a gun as described in the warrant, and the issue at hand was whether the failure to knock and wait was enough to invoke
the “exclusionary rule,” barring evidence obtained in an unconstitutional fashion.
The Court is hanging this entire case on whether or not it’s constitutional for the cops to break down someone’s door unannounced.
Their justification is, since it’s not specifically stated in the Constitution that law enforcement must announce themselves before gaining entry, then it’s unconstitutional.
Never mind that it’s just logical to give someone a little time to come to the door, and that it’s not like we’re talking about hours of wait time here.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see where this will lead.
Cops get a warrant, head over to suspect’s house, break down the door.
Home owner/renter has a legally purchased gun, starts shooting.
Cop gets killed, suspect ends up on trial despite the fact that a case could genuinely be made that the occupant of the home was concerned about his or her safety and that of any family members.
The Cory Maye case is a prime example of this.
“Have no fear,” says the honorable Judge Scalia, “for our police forces have become quite professional of late.”
That’s right, gentle readers, the Court assures us that law enforcement has had Original Sin exorcised at
the new and improved police academy.
Justice Scalia writes that concerns about police behavior may have been valid in 1980 but that now “we now have increasing
evidence that police forces across the United States take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously.”
While on one level such a statement is worth a gasp and a chortle, on another level Scalia writes the truth – for as constitutional rights are stripped away by the Supreme Court, there are fewer and
fewer police behaviors that are violative of the law.
By legalizing thuggery, thuggish law enforcement is not only christened but encouraged.
It seems the Court, after much deliberation, has weighed the extreme inconvenience of the Knock-and-announce rule against the “social costs” of upholding the rule, which include such factors as (1) “a constant flood” of legal challenges for alleged failures to observe the knock and announce
rule, (2) the risk that “officers would be inclined to wait longer than the law requires” after knocking (and we all know that SWAT team types truly tend
to agonize decisions before springing into action), and (3) that the delay after knocking (in the past, three seconds has been viewed by the Court as adequate
wait time) provides time for the destruction of evidence and the arming of dangerous suspects.
Conversely, the “deterrence benefits” of the exclusionary rule as a check on rampant police aggression are viewed as minimal.
Rather, an aggrieved party who has been the victim of a knock and announce violation can file a civil rights law suit.
In other words, letting the rule stand creates too much work for the Court, (and I thought that’s what they’re there to do, work), and three seconds provides time for suspects to hide inordinant amounts of weapons and drugs.
Sounds to me like the Supreme Court is legislating from the bench again, but this time the new law gives them some free time.
It is not explained (if explainable at all) how the supposed “constant flow” of legal challenges to the knock requirement at criminal trial is somehow more onerous to the court
system than the constant flow of civil rights law suits which the Court views as a more proper remedy.
Of course the real benefit to the aspiring authoritarian
state is that those civil rights law suits would most likely be pursued by people in prison.
A deterrent to police abuse indeed!
Likewise, the timing issue surrounding a proper knock is bizarrely treated.
One is left to ask how much crack cocaine can be flushed down a toilet and how many weapons can be stashed if the
scruple-ridden cops wait 10 seconds (instead of the permissible three seconds) after knocking and is the preservation of such a paltry amount worth calling
in the jack-booted thugs?
Additionally, isn’t it the über-ninja style raids that send panicked suspects grabbing for their guns in the first place?
This newest ruling by our esteemed social nannies is instructive as to how the Court sees itself.
There is no thought of “inalienable rights,” (unless you count the “inalienable right” of the Courte of absolute power, and thus absolute corruption), or the 9th Amendment.
The much-feared “natural law” of Clarence Thomas is not to be found.
Instead, with the Hudson decision, the Supreme Court has not only laid a firm foundation for a police state, they have reminded us that
we the people are the ruled and they are the rulers.
They are the wise balancers of scales.
They are the sole guardians of justice.
They are the ultimate guarantors of our rights.
And we, the people had better like it.
We probably ought to start taking applications for the Priesthood of the Supreme Court of the United States, because, sooner or later, they’ll be gods in need of our worship.
And of course, the ACLU is completely silent on this matter.
Not one peep as to civil rights, or anything like that.
I guess this fits in snuggly with the rest of their agenda.


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