Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Fourth Amendment

Three Liberal Justices Dissent in Supreme Court Fourth Amendment Ruling

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 22, 2016: 

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010.

Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented inUtah v. Strieff, a decision that was announced by the court on Monday. On the surface the decision appeared to allow an unconstitutional expansion of police powers.

In a case dating back to 2006, a narcotics detective in Salt Lake City was watching a suspected drug house. He noticed a man leaving the house and the detective stopped him, demanding to know what he was doing in the house. In the process he demanded his identification, which he forwarded to his dispatcher to run through the police database. When he learned that the man had an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation, the detective, Douglas Fackrell, arrested Edward Strieff, searched him, and found various drug-related paraphernalia.

Strieff moved to suppress the damning evidence, claiming

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Justice Sotomayor Attacks Supreme Court Majority in Fourth Amendment Decision

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 21, 2016:  

English: Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court j...

Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court justice

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling in Utah v. Strieff that an illegal stop that uncovered evidence of criminal activity excluded that evidence from being used against the defendant.

There was no question that it was an illegal stop. In 2006, a police officer, after surveilling potential drug activity in a private home in Salt Lake City, stopped an individual exiting the house and asked him what he was doing there. He demanded his identification, and when the information was relayed to his police dispatcher, he learned that the defendant, Edward Strieff, had an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation.

That permitted the narcotics detective, Douglas Fackrell, to

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Senate to Vote on Four Gun Bills on Monday, Including NRA-backed Cornyn Bill

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 20, 2016:  

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution

Although none of four gun bills, offered as amendments to a Justice Department spending bill, is expected to pass the Senate on Monday, special attention is being paid to two of them. Both infringe on Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, one by a little, the other by obliterating them altogether.

In her efforts to have the Senate expand the two current watch lists — the no-fly list and the terror watch list — to prohibit anyone on either list from being able to purchase a firearm, California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein is presenting her “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act,” which would

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Trump vs. Clinton on Gun Control & Second Amendment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 23, 2016:  

Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, perceived as far back as last October that gun control (i.e., control of people owning guns) would be a key issue in the 2016 presidential election, and Trip Gabriel picked up on it in his comments in the New York Times this weekend. Said Gross: “This issue is at a tipping point. You’re going to hear about it as a differentiator for the first time in decades.… Change is in the air.”

Gabriel is right about one thing:

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Cruz Tosses Second “Hail Mary” Pass, Names Carly Fiorina as His VP

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 28, 2016:  

When he announced Carly Fiorina (shown) as his running mate, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said on Tuesday, “It’s unusual to make the announcement as early as we’re doing so. But this race, if anything, is unusual.”

Others viewed his decision to name former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina as his vice-presidential running mate in different terms.

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Will Cruz’s Hail Mary Save His Campaign?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 29, 2016: 

Before that miraculous toss that put the Dallas Cowboys on top of the Minnesota Vikings in an NFL playoff game in 1975, the last-second desperation throw was called the “Alley-Oop.” But when Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was asked about it after the game, he said “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary” and changed its name forever.

History is replete with Hail Mary tosses that worked.

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$3.6 Million for Baby Bou Bou; Nothing for the Fourth Amendment

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 2, 2016: 

Last Friday a federal judge signed off on settlements totaling $3.6 million to be paid to the family of Bou Bou, an infant who was blown up in his crib during a no-knock raid in May, 2014. Said the family’s attorney:

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Family Gets $3.6M; Deputy Gets Off; 4th Amendment Gets Trashed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 1, 2016:  

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, nine sheriff’s deputies from Rabun, Stephen, and Habersham Counties in Georgia enforced a “no-knock” warrant at 2:25 a.m. by battering down the door where Alecia and Bounkham Phonesavanh and their four children were staying. To stun and incapacitate them a deputy launched a “flash-bang” grenade, which inadvertently landed in the crib where 19-month-old “Bou Bou” was sleeping, nearly killing him.

According to Jacob Sullum at Reason magazine, baby Bou Bou suffered

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NYPD “Stingray” Use Exposed by the NY Civil Liberties Union

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 12, 2016:  

NYPD Communications Division van #4018 at Hera...

NYPD Communications Division van

In November the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) received part of what it requested from the New York Police Department under the Freedom of Information Act: What is “stingray,” and how often are you using it, and under what conditions and restraints?

The rest of the information requested arrived earlier this week, and NYCLU went public with what it found.

A “stringray” is

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Ignoring Due Process is now the Weapon of Choice by Anti-gunners

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 20, 2016: 

The history of due process reaches far back into history, farther than the Fourth Amendment’s guarantees of citizens’ rights to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures … [and that] no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” It goes back to Clause 39 of the Magna Carta:

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VA Backs Down on Threat to Take Idaho Veteran’s Guns

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 10, 2015:  

English: Image is similar, if not identical, t...

When Idaho State Representative Heather Scott learned that the Veterans Administration (VA) was about to descend on a veteran living in her district and confiscate his firearms, she enlisted the power of the Internet. Writing on her Facebook page last Thursday, she announced,

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Rand Paul’s “Carpe Diem” Moment and the Patriot Act

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 1, 2015: 

When Kentucky Senator Rand Paul learned that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had called the Senate into special session on Sunday afternoon to reconsider extending the Patriot Act (and most likely the USA Freedom Act which the House just passed), he saw his opportunity. It was a “carpe diem” moment (“seize the day”).

He gave this to Politico:

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Passage of the Freedom Act Assures Continuation of the Surveillance State

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 15, 2015: 

Passage of The Freedom Act in the House on Wednesday, May 13, 338-88, was for show only. The bill with real teeth that would have done something substantial about rolling back the surveillance state is collecting dust in Speaker John Boehner’s inbox.

Freedom Act 2.0 is even weaker than the one the House passed last year, which the Senate essentially ignored until it was too close to the midterms for it to vote on. It does not, as sponsor Rep. James Sensenbrenner hoped it would, end the surveillance state, nor even slow it down. It merely shifts the collection center from Utah to the phone companies. Under the bill,

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Freedom Act Passes House, 338-88; Senate Likely to Ignore it

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 14, 2015: 

On Wednesday the House overwhelmingly approved the USA Freedom Act, 338-88, putting pressure on the Senate to approve it before the offensive Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act — the one that the government says allows unlimited surveillance of Americans’ communications metadata — expires on June 1.

The government’s interpretation of that law was ruled illegal by a federal court a few days earlier, putting more pressure on senators who support the surveillance state.

The current House bill is substantially weaker than one with a similar overall purpose that the House passed in the last Congress, which never made it out of the Senate before the November midterm elections. The new bill doesn’t end snooping. It merely

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Supreme Court: Police Cannot Prolong a Traffic Stop

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 22, 2015:

A little after midnight on March 27, 2012, Dennys Rodriguez was driving his Mercury Mountaineer on Nebraska’s State Highway 275 when he swerved onto the shoulder to avoid hitting a pothole. He was on the shoulder for perhaps one or two seconds before returning to the roadway, but that was enough to catch the attention of Nebraska police officer Morgan Struble.

He pulled Rodriguez over and conducted the usual and customary check of his driver’s license, insurance, and registration. After it was all checked out, Officer Struble wrote Rodriguez a warning based on a Nebraska law prohibiting driving on the shoulder of a state highway.

Struble then stepped out of bounds,

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Wikipedia, ACLU sue NSA over Constitutional Violations

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 13, 2015:

On Tuesday Wikimedia (the foundation behind Wikipedia) joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) for violating the Constitution and exceeding authority granted to it by Congress. The lawsuit

challenges the suspicionless seizure and searching of internet traffic by the National Security Agency (NSA) on U.S. soil….

 

The NSA is seizing Americans’ communications en masse while they are in transit [in the network of high-capacity cables, switches, and routers that make up the internet], and it is searching the contents of substantially all international text-based communications – and many domestic communications as well – for tens of thousands of search terms.

 

The surveillance exceeds the scope of the authority that Congress provided in the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) and violates the First and Fourth Amendments.

Because Wikipedia serves as an anonymous source of information for more than 500 million readers every month, and because its content is continually being updated by an estimated 75,000 contributors from around the world every month, such unrestricted and blatant invasion of privacy is having a dampening effect on Wiki and its customers, according to the lawsuit.

For example,

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Wiki Lawsuit Highlights NSA’s All-Inclusive, Unconstitutional Spying

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 11, 2015:

Official portrait of NSA director Keith B. Ale...

Official portrait of NSA director Keith B. Alexander

As reported by The New American on Tuesday, Wikipedia has joined forces with the ACLU in representing itself and other groups violated by the NSA’s unrestrained data collection by suing the agency.

The lawsuit holds that the NSA has — by its relentless, warrantless, and suspicionless secret acquisition of Wikipedia’s private customer information — not only infringed on the precious freedoms of those customers guaranteed in the First and Fourth Amendments, but also exceeded authority granted to it by Congress under the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act.

Early in President George W. Bush’s first term, the NSA was given essentially carte blanche to

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Patriot Act’s Illegal Section 215 due to Expire June 1

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 18, 2015:

The seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire June 1, and each side in the upcoming battle to renew, reform, or let expire this unconstitutional abridgement of freedoms is rolling out its arguments.

Section 215 is often referred to as the Patriot Act’s “library records” provision because it allows the FBI to order a library or any other source to produce, without a warrant showing probable cause (as required under the Fourth Amendment), all “tangible things” belonging to its target of interest including “books, records, papers, documents, and other items.” That includes books borrowed and websites visited by the target while at the library. Niceties demanded by the Fourth Amendment are ignored in Section 215 as long as the FBI “specifies” that its order is “for an authorized investigation … to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

One of those favoring renewal of Section 215 is Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

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Police Have for Years Used Radar Scanners to See Into Homes

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 21, 2015:

After serving jail time for committing an armed robbery, Steven Denson was out on parole. When he failed to report to his parole officer, authorities, after an intensive search, were about to conclude that Denson was gone for good.

Eventually, however, they found that Denson had opened an account for utilities services in Wichita, Kansas. Police obtained an arrest warrant and went out to see if he was home. It had just snowed and they noted footprints in the backyard and the utility meter spinning, giving them reasonable cause to believe that Denson was home.

Just to make sure, however, one of the officers pulled out his

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Dollree Mapp, Defendant in Landmark Fourth Amendment Case, Dead at 91

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 10, 2014: 

3,927 days Earl Warren from 1943 to 1953

Chief Justice Earl Warren

When Dollree Mapp answered the door on May 23, 1957, she had no idea of the impact her next move would have on jurisprudence in the United States. 

At her door were three local police officers who were searching for a suspect in a bombing, and they asked permission to enter her home, having been given information that he might be hiding there. She asked them if they had a search warrant. When they said no, she refused entry. 

Two officers left, leaving one behind to maintain surveillance. Three hours later the two officers returned, along with several others who demanded entry into her home. At that point, according to Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, writing for the majority in Mapp v. Ohio, 

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.