Are we losing out Fourth Ammendment rights?

New photo of “virtual strip search”. I had a thread about this before.

Now Michigan has passed a law giving police the poser to search your home without telling you why.

Asset seizure laws have resulted in several cases of abuse, including the death of Donald Scott.

Have we given up too much freedom for the sake of security? If not, then how much is too much? Do you agree, or disagree with “If you haven’t done anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.”?

It’ll be interesting to see what the Supremes have to say about that insane Michigan law. Not to live in anxiety, but one must always look over his or her shoulder, have a basic understanding of rights in whichever country one is in, & hopefully have a good attorney to contact if there is a problem. I also like the ACLU pocket card:

Johnny, you should check out any info the ACLU has on the USA PATRIOT Act. There are many instances of our 4th Amendment rights being eroded. For instance, “knock and announce” has been suspended (like the Michigan law, law enforcement agents can charge into your house to do their search without telling you, as long as they have a warrant), trap & trace and pen registry wiretaps have been given out much more leniently, etc.


I have been working on a paper about this for a few weeks; here is an excerpt that pertains to how this act has infringed upon our Fourth Amendment rights:

Hope that helps. Personally, I am outraged that our civil liberties are being tossed to the wind based on the questionable promise of national security.

Munch: they don’t even need a warrant these days.

Those are other words, all right.

Unfortunately, I don’t find support for them in the bill. The delayed notice provision applies to the execution of a warrant, which must be based on probable cause:

I think you’re confusing different sections of the bill with your “in other words” summary.

In any event, the bill does not say that your home may be entered without notice to you and without probable cause.

  • Rick

Stop helping terrorists with your claims of lost freedoms.

Bricker - Yup, you’re right. You still need a warrant. Thank you for pointing that out though, I will change it before I turn the paper in next week.

I still think it’s an outrageous, especially considering that it has no expiration date (second bolded part) and is in direct opposition to standard police/government search parameters.

From the Center for Constitutional Rights, here is an actual analysis of Section 213:

And what if the warrant is obtained with fraudulent testimony, as happened in the Scott case linked at the top? The innocent Scott is still dead. It seems to me that there is the potential for more abuses when there is more secrecy.

I don’t have any cites for this information, but I read in the Washington Post newspaper a few months ago, that police in certain jurisdictions had the ability to use sophisticated equipment that could sense heat buildup in homes. Presumably, they would ask the power company to provide addresses where power consumption was quite high compared to neighbors. It turned out in one instance that the police caught someone growing a large quantity of marijuana plants and the extra power was used by grow lights. What concerns me is what if this person was growing orchids, or just simply used a lot of power? I feel that scenario illustrates erosion of privacy as well. The police should not be able to go on vague fishing expeditions.

Last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that such searches are legal only with a warrant, which presumably rules out “fishing expeditions”; of course, there are judges who grant warrants at the drop of a hat.

Yes, definately, and it has little to do with the ‘patriot’ act. We’ve had roadblocks and random searches under the justification of preventing drunk driving for years, and they’ve been upheld by the supreme court. I’m sure someone can list a number of other drug-war related destructions of the 4th amendment (aside from searches, ‘asset forfeiture’ laws are a rather large assault on ‘due process’ protections), but IMO the drug war is the biggest threat to liberty in the US today.

Then there are other places where you can see it being weakened; while the 4th amendment specifically states that a person shall be secure in his papers unless a warrant is issued for probably cause, what do you do in April of every year? You send off copies of your financial records to the IRS despite their lack of a search warrant for your records. If the constitution was being respected, you would instead take your 1040 form, do all of the calculations, then pay/get refunded the correct amount and it would be up to the IRS to determine whether you appeared to be lying about the amount, then put that evidence before a judge and get a warrant before being allowed access to your financial records. (Note that I don’t dispute the legitimacy of having an income tax, and certainly don’t think that you will be able to make a court challenge on these grounds, I simply dispute the the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ method used to collect the tax today).