June 02, 2011
Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police can violate the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution against unreasonable search and seizure under circumstances where they believe that evidence is being destroyed. This gives the police the discretion to manufacture a pretext or an excuse to “kick in the door” without a search warrant, said dissenting justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the vague new standard.
Ginsburg said that new ruling gives the police “a way routinely to dishonor” the constitutional requirement that they obtain a warrant, by manufacturing an exception to it.
Determining when the police don’t violate the constitutional protection against unreasonable search by barging in already has exceptions for “exigent circumstances,” emergencies like an imminent risk of death or danger that evidence will be destroyed. But the urgency usually exists when the police arrive at the scene. In this case at hand, the police caused the exigent circumstances themselves.
“The new rule undermines the rule of law by shifting the power to approve a forced entry from a magistrate to the police. It empowers the police to decide whether circumstances allow them to kick in the door.
“How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?,” asked Justice Ginsburg.
“Her dissent is a reminder of the enduring value of privacy,… It is unsettling that she is the only justice to insist that the law hold the line… so that our “officers are under the law…”
The United States “shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 451