T Nation

4th Amendment Eviscerated by SCOTUS

I fondly remember back when there was a 4th…

Good lord. 8-1?? The voice of reason was Sotomayer of all people??

I followed this one. It’s not as simple as it may seem. The guy was pulled over for a headlight or something which was not a ticketable offense or illegal.

The officer asked the guy if he could search his car, and the the guy said sure. Cocaine or something was found and he was then busted for that.

The guy’s lawyer argued that had he not been pulled over in the first place, the drugs would not have been found, etc.

Moral of the story is stay calm and don’t consent to a search, especially if there is something to hide.

If they find a reason to search anyway, then it is a different story and you probably still have some legal protection.

I know I put a charged title on this thread, but honestly, we’ve already got cops misbehaving on camera, abusing people on camera, and getting away with murder…on camera.

Is it really that far of a stretch to say this is an evisceration? Because they already abuse the system we have, while supposedly being held accountable for knowing the laws. You really trust them to be reasonable after this?

He’s an idiot, yes. Shouldn’t have granted permission to search. But I don’t trust this decision one bit.

Maybe I’m going off into conspiracy theory land, I dunno. All I know is that as one knowledgeable person said, con law cases aren’t ever about pure angels for subject, but the fact that its coke doesn’t mean that the con law rights case should be decided on “yeah but he had coke”. Its always something shady the first time, that’s why they get justified.

I dunno. I admit I may be tinfoil hat wearing, but this really bothers me.

Nah I think the moral is the story is don’t drive around with illegal shit in your car. The officer doesn’t need a warrant or anything to search you or the vehicle so why would you have that shit in your car? It is as simple as “the driver was acting strange or I smelled something strange.”

You seen this one Aragorn?

If a cop can stop us for a broken tail light and then make us blow into an object to measure our BAC then there never was a 4th amendment.

[quote]The-German wrote:
Nah I think the moral is the story is don’t drive around with illegal shit in your car. The officer doesn’t need a warrant or anything to search you or the vehicle so why would you have that shit in your car? It is as simple as “the driver was acting strange or I smelled something strange.”[/quote]

We have come so far from the ideals of liberty that people expect not to have rights when interacting with the coppers - as witness to the above quoted.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
If a cop can stop us for a broken tail light and then make us blow into an object to measure our BAC then there never was a 4th amendment. [/quote]

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another…”

[quote]The-German wrote:
Nah I think the moral is the story is don’t drive around with illegal shit in your car. The officer doesn’t need a warrant or anything to search you or the vehicle so why would you have that shit in your car? It is as simple as “the driver was acting strange or I smelled something strange.”[/quote]

No, that is incorrect. Although it is smart to not have anything illegal, let alone drive around with something illegal in your car, cops are still required to have probable cause to stop you and yes, they need a warrant. Unless you give them consent, the cop has probable cause there is evidence of a crime in your car (I already have a major issue with this), or you have been arrested and the search is connected to the already made arrest.

Neither probable cause or an arrest applied in this case. The officer had no probable cause to believe any crime was committed, only that a tail light was out. He was fishing. Yes the perp did give his consent, and so that is a problem, but as I said–and as I think jjackkrash has mentioned before–constitutional rights cases almost never involve an ‘angel’ of a suspect or victim. That does not mean that it gives an implicit permission to violate constitutional rights, only that the victim is a douchebag.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
If a cop can stop us for a broken tail light and then make us blow into an object to measure our BAC then there never was a 4th amendment. [/quote]

You can only do that if you suspect the driver has alcohol in their system.

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
If a cop can stop us for a broken tail light and then make us blow into an object to measure our BAC then there never was a 4th amendment. [/quote]

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another…”[/quote]

The world needs more Lysander Spooner!

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
If a cop can stop us for a broken tail light and then make us blow into an object to measure our BAC then there never was a 4th amendment. [/quote]

You can only do that if you suspect the driver has alcohol in their system.
[/quote]

And couldn’t a cop suspect anything for any reason thus rendering suspicion a moot point?

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
That does not mean that it gives an implicit permission to violate constitutional rights, only that the victim is a douchebag.[/quote]

He waived his right, which he has the right to do. His rights weren’t violated because he was a willing participant of the search. He could have withdrawn consent at any point and it would have stopped.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
If a cop can stop us for a broken tail light and then make us blow into an object to measure our BAC then there never was a 4th amendment. [/quote]

You can only do that if you suspect the driver has alcohol in their system.
[/quote]

And couldn’t a cop suspect anything for any reason thus rendering suspicion a moot point?[/quote]

No.

[quote]MattyG35 wrote:
You seen this one Aragorn?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/09/06/stop-and-seize/[/quote]

This is another one that has been recently changed. Holder just changed it and said it was only valid for specific cases like child porn and something else.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

I know I put a charged title on this thread, but honestly, we’ve already got cops misbehaving on camera, abusing people on camera, and getting away with murder…on camera.

Is it really that far of a stretch to say this is an evisceration? Because they already abuse the system we have, while supposedly being held accountable for knowing the laws. You really trust them to be reasonable after this?

He’s an idiot, yes. Shouldn’t have granted permission to search. But I don’t trust this decision one bit.

[/quote]

I don’t like any of this either and it concerns me very much.

I’m generally sympathetic to LE who have to deal with mostly stupid criminals everyday. It would test any reasonable man’s patience.

I’m also skeptical of LE, as human beings are non-ideal, and putting a large amount of authority in a non-ideal system will generally yield some disagreeable results. There is also the self preservation instinct of the bureacracy that tends to be resistant to even reasonable reforms that could make it perhaps a better system.

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
That does not mean that it gives an implicit permission to violate constitutional rights, only that the victim is a douchebag.[/quote]

He waived his right, which he has the right to do. His rights weren’t violated because he was a willing participant of the search. He could have withdrawn consent at any point and it would have stopped.[/quote]

That’s not what this case is about though. This case is about whether the cop who stopped him a)had the right to stop him and b) had the right to ask to search his car. He had neither. He had neither because the man wasn’t breaking any laws driving (his tail light was NOT out and it wasn’t illegal to drive with only one tail light in the state in any case, which means the cop did not have the right to stop him). The cop also did not have probable cause to ask for the search–but more importantly didn’t have the right to stop him in the first place. If this was only about him giving consent to be searched like a dumbass I would be more inclined to agree with you.

This case is actually about whether the cops can violate your 4th amendment rights by “misunderstanding” the laws they are enforcing. This is absurd to me and dangerous to boot.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
That does not mean that it gives an implicit permission to violate constitutional rights, only that the victim is a douchebag.[/quote]

He waived his right, which he has the right to do. His rights weren’t violated because he was a willing participant of the search. He could have withdrawn consent at any point and it would have stopped.[/quote]

That’s not what this case is about though. This case is about whether the cop who stopped him a)had the right to stop him and b) had the right to ask to search his car. He had neither. He had neither because the man wasn’t breaking any laws driving (his tail light was NOT out and it wasn’t illegal to drive with only one tail light in the state in any case, which means the cop did not have the right to stop him). The cop also did not have probable cause to ask for the search–but more importantly didn’t have the right to stop him in the first place. If this was only about him giving consent to be searched like a dumbass I would be more inclined to agree with you.

This case is actually about whether the cops can violate your 4th amendment rights by “misunderstanding” the laws they are enforcing. This is absurd to me and dangerous to boot.

[/quote]

Correct, except a cop does not need probable cause to ask to search your car/property/person.

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
That does not mean that it gives an implicit permission to violate constitutional rights, only that the victim is a douchebag.[/quote]

He waived his right, which he has the right to do. His rights weren’t violated because he was a willing participant of the search. He could have withdrawn consent at any point and it would have stopped.[/quote]

The issue–from what I read–was whether the initial stop was bad, not the subsequent consent. It is a big deal to say a stop could be a good stop when everyone admits no law was broken and that the cop made a mistake–not of fact–but of law, when he concluded that a law had been broken justifying the stop.

It just seems to me like every case that goes before the Supremes takes another little chunk out of the 4th.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
That does not mean that it gives an implicit permission to violate constitutional rights, only that the victim is a douchebag.[/quote]

He waived his right, which he has the right to do. His rights weren’t violated because he was a willing participant of the search. He could have withdrawn consent at any point and it would have stopped.[/quote]

That’s not what this case is about though. This case is about whether the cop who stopped him a)had the right to stop him and b) had the right to ask to search his car. He had neither. He had neither because the man wasn’t breaking any laws driving (his tail light was NOT out and it wasn’t illegal to drive with only one tail light in the state in any case, which means the cop did not have the right to stop him). The cop also did not have probable cause to ask for the search–but more importantly didn’t have the right to stop him in the first place. If this was only about him giving consent to be searched like a dumbass I would be more inclined to agree with you.

This case is actually about whether the cops can violate your 4th amendment rights by “misunderstanding” the laws they are enforcing. This is absurd to me and dangerous to boot.

[/quote]

Correct, except a cop does not need probable cause to ask to search your car/property/person.
[/quote]

He didn’t “ask” at first he ordered the car to the side of the road and it was a detention. There’s a big difference.