Saturday, January 14, 2006

Judges gone wild

American's are blessed to have strong constitutional protections. Unfortunately some persons, including federal judges have gone wild concluding that very reasonable searches are illegal in their view. Here is an excellent example from the Weekly Standard. Read the whole thing.

As presented to the three-judge panel, the case revolved around the following issue. In applying for the search warrant, the two officers had filled in a box entitled "specific description of premises and/or persons to be searched." The language is taken from the Fourth Amendment and officers must be very careful in filling it out. Warrants are routinely thrown out by appeals-court judges who decide that the application did not adequately describe "the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

By the time the officers had finished describing the suspect's premises and listing his name, address, physical description, and Social Security number, they had no room left to include any further information. "As you can see, that box is filled," testified one officer in court. "You can't include everything. . . . It's impossible to fit everything we want in these little boxes they give us."

In order to continue their application, the officers attached an affidavit in which they added a request to search "all occupants" of the house. Fulfilling the Fourth Amendment's requirement that "no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause," they stated that, in their experience, drug dealers, when faced with "impending apprehension," often gave evidence to other persons present in the hope that "said persons will not be subject to search when police arrive." The judge signed the warrant and its accompanying affidavit.

Unfortunately, two of the judges on the appeals panel decided ipso facto that it wasn't valid to attach an additional piece of paper to describe the search.

I saved the best for last. The dissenting judge, who argued that common sense indicated that the police had sought, received and executed a valid warrant ... his name: Alito.

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This is a joke, but I hear stuff like this everyday