Tag Archives: constitution

Cry, the Beloved Constitution – NYTimes.com

12 Mar

BOTH liberals and conservatives have the American Constitution in the cross hairs. They assault the Constitution in their different ways, each with damaging effects on our nation. Conservatives attack the courts on one hand and seek to have them advance their activist agenda on the other. Liberals, when it suits them, embrace rights that have not been enumerated in the Constitution and cry for restraint only when their pet bills come under fire. The result is a national jurisprudence whetted by political appetite, with our democratic values as the victims.

via Cry, the Beloved Constitution – NYTimes.com.

5 Reasons You Should Never Agree to a Police Search (Even if You Have Nothing to Hide) | Civil Liberties | AlterNet

23 Feb

When something as stupid as stopping people from possessing marijuana came to be considered a critical law enforcement function, innocence ceased to protect people against police harassment. From the streets of the Bronx to the suburbs of the Nation’s Capital, you never have to look hard to find victims of the bias, incompetence, andcorruption that the drug war delivers on a daily basis.

Whether or not you ever break the law, you should be prepared to protect yourself and your property just in case police become suspicious of you. Let’s take a look at one of the most commonly misunderstood legal situations a citizen can encounter: a police officer asking to search your belongings. Most people automatically give consent when police ask to perform a search. However, I recommend saying “no” to police searches, and here are some reasons why:

1. It’s your constitutional right.

The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures. Unless police have strong evidence (probable cause) to believe you’re involved in criminal activity, they need your permission to perform a search of you or your property….

2. Refusing a search protects you if you end up in court. …

3. Saying “no” can prevent a search altogether. …

4. Searches can waste your time and damage your property. …

via 5 Reasons You Should Never Agree to a Police Search (Even if You Have Nothing to Hide) | Civil Liberties | AlterNet.

In the GPS Case, Issues of Privacy and Technology – NYTimes.com

29 Jan

Tricky question. Read the whole thing.

Focusing on public expectations of privacy means that our rights change when technology does. As Justice Alito blithely said: “New technology may provide increased convenience or security at the expense of privacy, and many people may find the tradeoff worthwhile.”

But aren’t constitutional rights intended to protect our liberty even when the public accepts “increased convenience or security at the expense of privacy”? Fundamental rights remain fundamental in the face of time and new inventions.

via In the GPS Case, Issues of Privacy and Technology – NYTimes.com.