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Supreme court rules police can violate 4th amendment

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by IronMonster, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-...iolate-4th-amendment-if-they-are-ignorant-law

    Via The Rutherford Institute,

    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.”

    In April 2009, a Surry County (N.C.) law enforcement officer stopped a car traveling on Interstate 77, allegedly because of a brake light which at first failed to illuminate and then flickered on. The officer mistakenly believed that state law prohibited driving a car with one broken brake light. In fact, the state traffic law requires only one working brake light. Nevertheless, operating under a mistaken understanding of the law, during the course of the stop, the officer asked for permission to search the car. Nicholas Heien, the owner of the vehicle, granted his consent to a search. Upon the officer finding cocaine in the vehicle, he arrested and charged Heien with trafficking. Prior to his trial, Heien moved to suppress the evidence seized in light of the fact that the officer’s pretext for the stop was erroneous and therefore unlawful. Although the trial court denied the motion to suppress evidence, the state court of appeals determined that since the police officer had based his initial stop of the car on a mistaken understanding of the law, there was no valid reason for the stop in the first place. On appeal, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that even though the officer was wrong in concluding that the inoperable brake light was an offense, because the officer’s mistake was a “reasonable” one, the stop of the car did not violate the Fourth Amendment and the evidence resulting from the stop did not need to be suppressed. In weighing in on the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Rutherford Institute attorneys warn against allowing government agents to “benefit” from their mistakes of law, deliberate or otherwise, lest it become an incentive for abuse.

    Affiliate attorney Christopher F. Moriarty assisted The Rutherford Institute in advancing the arguments in the amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court.
     
  2. chainsaw

    chainsaw East side of Or. Active Member

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    So instead of making the cops know the laws that they are enforcing,they remove constitutional rights.sounds normal.
     
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  3. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    So I can be pulled over for allegedly speeding, then car searched and whatever they find in that violation they can use... Even if my car wwant going over the speed limit.

    Interesting.
    That's how I see it.

    Since stop and frisk is out, now they just stop and search for a better reason to haul your bubblegum to jail.
     
    chariot13 likes this.
  4. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    My understanding is that LEO's must have permission to search your vehicle. DON'T GIVE IT!!!!!
     
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  5. nehalemguy

    nehalemguy Vernonia Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Never....ever....give consent to a search, even if you have nothing to hide. Consenting to a search is committing legal suicide.

    When you say no (which should be ALWAYS!), the burden of probable cause is placed back on the LEO's shoulders and while they may search anyway, at least your attorney will have something to work with in getting a case tossed.

    E
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
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  6. WasrNwarpaint

    WasrNwarpaint Portland Well-Known Member

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    Id like to know how many of those supreme court clowns are heavily invested in stocks of the public trading & privatization of the prison systems

    would surprise me if they were stacking the deck:eek:
     
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  7. timac

    timac Loading Magazines! Well-Known Member

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    Its okay for government officials to be ignorant of the law, but not the slaves. Still think this is a free country?
     
  8. nehalemguy

    nehalemguy Vernonia Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to defend government officials by saying this, but with the thousands upon thousands of various laws on the books, plus hundreds of new ones added every year, how would they ever learn them all?

    E
     
  9. WasrNwarpaint

    WasrNwarpaint Portland Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to defend government officials by saying this, but with the thousands upon thousands of various laws on the books, plus hundreds of new ones added every year, how would they ever learn them all?

    how about stop pushing all the new ridiculous laws...that would be a start
    In a court of law the public cant use "I didnt know"...ignorance is NO EXCUSE in a court of law unless your a dumb cop that cant learn them like we must
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  10. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    That statement was so rediculous I just had to hit the ignore button
     
  11. notazombie

    notazombie Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    How would we?

    This decision baffles me. Maybe next time I get pulled over for speeding I'll just use "I didn't know" as a defense and see how well it works out for me.:rolleyes:
     
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  12. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Been there, I wouldn't recomend it ;)
     
  13. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    C'mon guys. this is "reasonable." That word is magic, and makes wrong stuff totally OK. Don't mess with "reasonable."
     
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  14. notazombie

    notazombie Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Well put. One of the most subjective words out there. Certainly should be applied to constitutional law.
     
  15. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    But as a citizen we are suppose to know the law :ignorance of the law is no excuse: sounds right to me:s0118::s0118::s0118::s0118:
     
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  16. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    Just wondering if you are a Leo because of the defense of this ruling ??
    But really don't expect a answer because we all know Leo's are allowed to lie to civilians
     
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  17. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The law should NEVER favor the government. The burden needs to always be on them - and if they can't do it within the scope of the constitution, they just can't do it.

    The enforcement of laws is not more important than liberty.
     
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  18. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I blame the idiot in the car. I know, I know... cant live without your cocaine. You're entitled to use what ever drug you want despite whether its illegal or not. But then you agree to a search. So right there we know you're an idiot twice.

    But then instead of taking a hit for the team you and your lawyer run it all the way up to the supreme court that makes a decision that sets precedents over all of us. All so you could get high.

    Please stupid people, stop giving the courts and legislators reasons to screw the rest of us over.
     
  19. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You can't blame people for challenging their prosecution under the law. Sorry, I can't get on board with your sentiment at all.

    And I am not a huge legalization proponent. Sounds like this dude was a scum bag drug dealer and got what he deserved. But I'd rather let a scum bag drug dealer go free than erode the rights of everyone else.

    Gators gonna gait. Drug dealers gonna deal drugs. But cops need to operate within their bounds, and the supreme court needs to honor their sole charge.
     
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  20. HuckFin

    HuckFin mt rainier Active Member

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    Yes...unless the cop is ignorant of the fact that he needs permission to search your car.