Attention

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Sunday, January 04, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Rules 8-1 that Citizens Have No Protection Against Fourth Amendment Violations by Police Officers Ignorant of the Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a blow to the constitutional rights of citizens, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Heien v. State of North Carolina that police officers are permitted to violate American citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights if the violation results from a “reasonable” mistake about the law on the part of police. Acting contrary to the venerable principle that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” the Court ruled that evidence obtained by police during a traffic stop that was not legally justified can be used to prosecute the person if police were reasonably mistaken that the person had violated the law. The Rutherford Institute had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hold law enforcement officials accountable to knowing and abiding by the rule of law. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Court’s lone dissenter, warned that the court’s ruling “means further eroding the Fourth Amendment’s protection of civil liberties in a context where that protection has already been worn down.”

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Heien v. North Carolina is available at www.rutherford.org.

“By refusing to hold police accountable to knowing and abiding by the rule of law, the Supreme Court has given government officials a green light to routinely violate the law,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of the award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “This case may have started out with an improper traffic stop, but where it will end—given the turbulence of our age, with its police overreach, military training drills on American soil, domestic surveillance, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, wrongful convictions, and corporate corruption—is not hard to predict. This ruling is what I would call a one-way, nonrefundable ticket to the police state.”

More

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obama LOVES this.

Anonymous said...

One of the few times I agree with this particular judge!

Anonymous said...

This is Treasonous.

Anonymous said...

“ignorance of the law is no excuse" is not a broad legal principle or a "venerable" one.

This is a victory for law and order so it should be praised, not condemned.

Anonymous said...

Hog wash , after the things that happened recently to cops , I expected nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Sotomoyer is an idiot!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it their job to know the laws that they are enforcing?

lmclain said...

2:35....wait a second.
When I violate the law (from just not knowing every single law, changes to the law, or new ones, the judge tells me "ignorance of the law is no excuse (I've actually heard a judge say that in court) and fines or jails me.
A cop (charged with ENFORCING the LAW) DOESN"T even KNOW the law he supposedly is "enforcing" and it's okay?
Would you take a take a demolition course from someone who says "I know a LITTLE about bombs, but I'm no expert".
Would you put that person in charge of other people's lives and property?
A "victory" for law enforcement??
Another door opens for the Gestapo to BREAK the law and get rubberstamped by people whose only interaction with the police is when their security detail changes shifts.
NSA wiretapping every American was also a "victory" for law enforcement, huh?

Anonymous said...

The SCOTUS decision holds closely with the exclusionary rule and the good faith exception. The exclusionary rule protects citizens from intentional violations of the fourth amendment ....... Not actions that result from misconceptions.

Anonymous said...

This ruling affirms the fact that cops are stupid and now will be protected as such.
Affirmative action for guilty cops.

Anonymous said...

lol misconceptions? by whom? the politicians? the government? the kops? or the public?

Anonymous said...

This ruling means that police are indeed above the law! Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The founding fathers have probably rolled over so many times in their graves that they could apply to be in the next cirque du soleil.

Carl F. said...

42 U.S. Code § 1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.


The supreme court should do more research before they act, just like the cops.

Anonymous said...

1000% correct, and holder loves it,

Anonymous said...

Soto OR the other idiiots stomping on our CONSTITUTION.

Anonymous said...

3:03....

SPOT ON.

ginn said...

A day or so ago a commenter indicated they were sure that the SC knew the law quite well & ruled competently on it. I'm wondering how they feel about this 'rights abortion' of our Constitution.
This is serious! If our Supreme Court overwhelmingly agrees with blatant Constitutional breeches in favor of a more restrictive gov't, Fascism is here. No longer debated, it's rutting here America.

Anonymous said...

And only "We the people" who can correct such mis-justices, however it is almost impossible to gather enough people behind the cause to create enough uproar to cause the elected elite who are suppose to speak and act in our behalf to cause or create the change necessary to correct this 'ignorance of the law' one way street they have created!

Anonymous said...

No! The locals with cop drippings on their chins are loving this. And when they say time for your guns .....they no longer will need a warrant! This is so broad of an explanation it can mean your residence as well.

Anonymous said...

That's because the government has had our schools conform kids instead of teach them. You sheeple smdh. The ones with balls to stand are all dead or in death beds. We need another hippie revolution!

Anonymous said...

3:03 --

Don't believe everything you hear from anyone, including some judge.

Appeals courts regularly declare what a lower judge says, and many judicial errors go uncorrected.

Anonymous said...

Mr./ Ms. 3:03 --

If you accept what you say "a judge" said, why don't you accept what the 8 Supremes have said in this case?

Anonymous said...

Mr./ Ms. 3:03 --

If you accept what you say "a judge" said, why don't you accept what the 8 Supremes have said in this case?

Anonymous said...

They have 9 people, we have 300 million. My question is as follows.

Why are we allowing these 8 people to essentially void our constitution through gross misinterpretation?

I find the original wording quite self-evident.

lmclain said...

12:28....I did not say I "accepted" what the judge said, merely that he said it and enforced it.
Holding everyone (including politicians, police, and government officials) to the same standard and requiring the same obedience to the law and exacting the same punishments for their violations, regardless of status or position, is something I thought ALL Americans would and should stand for....
Maybe I got you wrong.