Thursday, June 15, 2006

Knock Off

Samuel Alito's "incremental strategy" toward altering not only long standing de facto legal procedures but long standing decisions such as Roe v. Wade appears well under way as the latest Supreme Court decision to back "no knock" searches further indicates a Big Bench that is now awash in statist jurists. And much like the previous SCOTUS decision on curbing whistleblower protection, this one also came in with a 5-4 vote.
A divided Supreme Court ruled today that evidence can be used against a defendant even when seized in violation of a long-standing rule requiring a knock on the door before executing a search warrant.

The 5-4 decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, ran counter to previous decisions requiring suppression of evidence obtained in violation of the so-called "knock-and-announce" rule.
Dissenting judges Breyer, Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg opined that such a ruling
"destroys the strongest legal incentive to comply" with the door-knocking requirement and "weakens, perhaps destroys," much of its "practical value."
If there was anything that could be taken away from the Roberts and Alito hearings, it was their overriding faith in the powers of the state to run roughshod over common civil liberties. Albert at the Booman Tribune wonders how many more decisions regarding government's abilities to roust the public and abuse those who would rat about it are currently on the docket. As I've said before, this will only get worse and we all can expect that similar, future cases will only confirm the pattern of legal strategizing Alito has openly expressed.

Should the NSA wiretapping program ever come before the Supremes, let's not forget this, shall we:
Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. once argued that the nation's top law enforcement official deserves blanket protection from lawsuits when acting in the name of national security, even when those actions involve the illegal wiretapping of American citizens...
As Alito himself wrote,
I do not question that the Attorney General should have this immunity. But for tactical reasons, I would not raise the issue here.
Of course, the Justice Department is strenuously trying to keep the NSA program out of the courts by demanding that the ACLU lawsuit against the program be dismissed:
The Justice Department ... is attempting to have the cases in Detroit and New York dismissed on the grounds that they violate the "state secrets" doctrine.
But even if the case does make it to SCOTUS, that old "state secrets" flag is sure to capture the happy attentions of the crop of Big Bench warmers for whom government whistleblowers and annoying, officious police procedures are simply hurdles that impinge on the efficiency of the police state.


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