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 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 187
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Free Speech 1st Amendment Page 15 of 21    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
^^^^^This guy did better than the New Jersey Transit employee. They fired this man, who has a family to support, for burning a Koran on the sidewalk on 9/11. They said it violated their ethics code. I can't imagine the NJT would have one, in the first place, but how burning a book had anything to do with ethics, God only knows.

I think they really fired him because he did something mean and hurtful to Muslims. (Pass the Kleenex, and give them a big hug.) As we all know, we have to have zero tolerance for the hateful things those bigoted, Palin-loving yahoos in flyover country--who are all clinging to their guns and their religion--say about Muslims. Talk about terrorists--these homegrown Christian nuts are far more dangerous than any Muslim, and I'm glad Janet Napolitano realizes it.

I think I finally understand this new view of free speech. If a person says something most evolved Americans would think was meant to hurt someone's feelings, or that showed disrespect for our first black president, or might make a Muslim mad at us--or was in any way just plain icky--it's against the constatution. And that person deserves to be punished, because they're BAD. Period, end of story! So, like, get effing over it, all you teabaggers, OK?

We can't just focus on what the constatution says, literally, and ignore its *spirit,* which is all about being considerate of all the other people we live with on Spaceship Earth. Maybe those old white men who wrote it didn't care about being nice to all of them, but I mean, hellloooo . . . we're talking about a *living document* that has to change with the times, OK?

I know there are quite a few experts on the constatution on a couple other threads here, and they have some righteous empathy. I'm sure they'd agree with all this.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 188
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 9/24/2010 11:05:34 AM

If their policy is unwritten, how could he have known about it?


That's one of several things I noticed in that article. The state fair officials can't expect people who attend the fair to guess what their "unwritten policies" are. I can't see how this guy was on notice that he couldn't bring in his sign.

Whether he had a gun, or assaulted anyone, doesn't affect the 1st Am. question--all that's just distraction. So is the nonsense about swinging the sign around and almost hitting some kids. There was a lot of open space nearby. The video makes clear the security guards removed him for having the sign, and not for any other reason.

I don't think the fact the land is privately owned makes any difference. The Court's said that even though a shopping mall is private property, it invites public use. And so people can exercise their right to speak there, as long as message isn't dictated by the state or likely to be associated with the property owner. I can't see why that wouldn't also apply to this fairgrounds--there's no reason to believe that either the government of Alaska or the owner of the property agreed with the sign.

Also, making someone rent a vendor booth to make a political statement seems to treat political speech just like commercial speech. But the 1st Am. protects political speech a lot more than it protects advertising. The fair could do more than just make someone rent a booth to sell porn videos, or a magic potion that lets your car run on plain water--it could ban them outright.

The "unwritten policy" also doesn't seem to have been applied evenly. Why weren't people wearing T shirts with certain messages on them charged the vendor fee? Maybe the policy's not written anywhere because the fair officials quickly made it up after this incident to cover their hindquarters.

Even if those rules were posted someplace, that by itself doesn't make them legitimate.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 189
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 9/24/2010 9:28:27 PM
^^^^^This is an odd situation, and I just don't know the facts in any detail. Whether calling the event the "Alaska state fair" is enough to connect the state to it would depend on whether the state had approved of that name. Or, Alaska or the city of Palmer may have involved itself with the event in some other way. But unless one of them is connected with the fair, the state action needed for the First Am. to apply is missing.

Even if the First Am. didn't apply in that way, Alaska law or a city ordinance could still require the sponsors of the fair to allow political speech there. (California law requires that for shopping malls--the one in the Pruneyard decision I mentioned was in Sacramento.)

The fact that official mentioned abortion and some mining controversy suggests they'd rented booths for those issues--maybe other ones, too.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 193
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/4/2010 9:40:55 AM

Solar panels saves the consumer money in about eight years when they heat their water and homes by investing in their future. Electric cars saves the consumer money at the pump. What's so bad about that?


As GC points out, if most people thought those things were a good deal, they'd buy them. But they don't, so some unelected federal bureaucrats coerce them into doing it. When you give a tax break--say to encourage things like these--you're forcing everyone else to pay more to compensate for the shortfall. It's an under-the-table way of redistributing income--theft dressed up to sound wholesome and wonderful.

The only reason the U.S. doesn't mandate these things flat out, by law, is that it has no authority to force us to buy certain products, or to prohibit us from buying others. But just give it time.

If the Supreme Court ever rules that the U.S. can force us to buy medical insurance, we're cooked. After that, there would be no limit to the federal government's power to tell us what to buy, not buy, sell, not sell, produce, or not produce, what to work at, and where to work. That would mean complete control over our economic decisions--the hallmark of statist tyrannies like the USSR.

But I suspect there are already millions of people in this country who don't much care if they live under tyranny or not, as long as Uncle Sam guarantees to steal someone else's money and give it to them.
 robin-hood
Joined: 12/2/2008
Msg: 194
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/4/2010 11:57:52 AM
Wait a minute Paul.

You had both Solar photovoltaic and solar heating panels ?

Was the photovoltaic just a small one to operate the circulation pump on the water heating panels? If not what was the capacity or sq-ft of photovoltaic panels. Did you also dispose of the inverter?

I'm not a greenie except when it makes sense and had those panels still been working I would have found a place for them.

Years ago in California there were big tax credits paid directly to overnight installers on hot water solar panels and I would venture to say these guys didn't care what they sold or how they installed it so long as they made their money. I had some of these shady outfits approach me to bless it in cities where it was required. Trouble was the owners of these panels didn't do their homework, as it cost them very little out of pocket expense. I saw some of the contracts they signed, and you can bet the contractors only obligation was sq-ft of panels and sometimes a storage tank. No mention of quality, materials, longevity or performance. California legislation for that tax rebate money was very poorly written.

A properly installed hot water solar system in Southern California will work for at least 30 to 50 years depending upon materials. In fact if not for all the building code restrictions, one could be installed to pencil out in 10 years and if installed on a new home at today's rates you would be putting money in your pocket.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 198
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/7/2010 2:01:17 PM
fz, I admire your commitment to the Constitution, but I don't think it requires us to tolerate this kind of thing.

I haven't followed this case much, but I think the main question is whether state law that makes something called "intentional infliction of emotional distress" a tort violates the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. (Torts are sort of a light version of crimes--a crime is a wrong against the public, prosecuted by the state, and if convicted you may land in jail. A tort is a wrong against an individual, which state laws authorize them to sue the wrongdoer for, and the most common remedy is money damages.)

IIED isn't a traditional, well-recognized intentional tort like battery, assault, or false imprisonment (these first two, defined a little differently, being better known as crimes.) It's a much more recent thing.

What these rats did meets all the requirements--purposely doing something that's outrageous and beyond all recognized limits of decency that damages the person you targeted, by causing them extreme emotional distress. It's even worse that they knew the dead servicemen's relatives were in an unusually sensitive emotional state, because they were grieving. Apparently the Maryland courts held they were liable, and now they're claiming the state IIED law violates their constitutional right.

The 1st Am. certainly doesn't protect all speech. States can prohibit things like defamation, false advertising, obscenity, child pornography, misrepresentation, and inciting imminent violence without violating the 1st Am. I can't imagine that the disgusting things these heartless people said are any kind of speech the Framers meant to guarantee, any more than slander is.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 200
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/7/2010 8:52:53 PM
Thanks, fz. The Court has recognized that there's a lot of give and take in a democratic society, and that people in public life have to have thick skins, if we're going to stay free. The Constitution doesn't require everyone else to shut up to make sure those people's feelings don't get hurt.

That's why I can't buy that speculation about public figures suing for IIED. Good luck. Times v. Sullivan--which they cited--strongly upheld the 1st Am. freedom of the press. Sullivan makes it *very* hard for a public figure to win a suit against someone for publishing a defamatory statement relating to his official conduct or a matter of "public concern."

To win, the public figure (say a public official) has to prove that the defendant made the statement with "malice," meaning that they either knew it was false, or seriously doubted it was true. And he has to prove that by clear and convincing evidence. The "clear and convincing" burden of proof is hard to meet--not that much easier than proving someone's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt" in a criminal case.

There's not nearly so much 1st Am. protection for a defamatory statement about a private individual in a matter of public concern. If he can show the defendant made the statement with malice, the 1st Am. doesn't protect it, even if it does involve a matter of public concern. And if it's just a private individual suing someone for defamation where no matter of public concern's involved, the 1st Am.'s not even in play.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 201
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/8/2010 1:21:50 AM
^^^^^Agreed--only too bad someone hasn't decided it would be worth some jail time to give this guy and his followers a beating so bad that years later, just thinking of it would make them wince. That's assuming you could find a jury that would convict them.

I'll be interested to see how the Court rules on this. I can't imagine five justices would say that state laws which authorize you to sue someone for intentional infliction of emotional distress--i.e. which recognize it as a tort and describe what it requires--violate 1st Am. freedom of speech.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 208
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/11/2010 9:41:24 AM
^^^^^Typical of the ACLU--do just enough to keep alive the myth that it's committed to protecting the Constitution, rather than a communist front group that's committed to dismantling it. I say let these organizations watch all they want and tell trainees anything they want. Then let them be dumb enough to arrest someone for taking part in a peaceful protest. A First Amendment suit would be clear-cut, and the government would lose.

It's more foolish than anything else. It's like a big city police force training cops to beat answers out of suspects, take their batons to anyone they see begging, and arrest people just for wearing gang clothing. That would be a great way to bankrupt the city with payments to victims, have an angry public howling for the head of every senior official in the police department, land half the cops in federal prison for violating federal civil rights laws, and put the new department under federal supervision for years.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 210
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 10/21/2010 7:40:05 PM

BUT we should really clamp down on 'irrational' conversation


And since almost everything that limousine liberal dope says is irrational, let her set the example by keeping her own mouth shut. Ms. Thomas is dead right to use the word "tyranny" in connection with Barack Hussein Obama and his helpmates. They don't believe in the rule of law. She's dead right about that prostitute Anita Hill, too.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 216
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 12/1/2010 8:05:39 AM
^^^^^I didn't read the Institute's brief yet, but that sounds like the key. No one could reasonably assume, just from a few remarks by a valedictorian about her religious convictions, that the school (and by extension, the state of Montana) endorsed her views on religion.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 219
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 12/7/2010 12:13:27 PM
^^^^^^Yes--and they can all go straight to he!!. People with their values shouldn't be entrusted with any authority in this country. Who elected this commissioner, anyway? No one, except by electing the president he serves.

I haven't studied the federal law they'd use to authorize this plan to dictate the content of broadcasts. But if there are laws which authorize the FCC to make rules like this, it sure sounds like they infringe freedom of speech more than the First Amendment allows.

So what do you do? You can challenge the law's constitutionality in court, but that can be tricky when the law hasn't been applied yet. You'd have to claim it was unconstitutional on its face, and the standards for proving that are pretty demanding.

I think it's usually better to shoot these things down politically, if possible, by getting enough votes in Congress to amend or even repeal a bad law. The problem is that the president could use his veto--but I think this man's been weakened enough now that conservatives should start pushing him harder. Dare him to do things that could cost him even more of his popularity, and see if he'll fold.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 224
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 1/14/2011 11:46:15 AM
^^^^^Mistake here is to consent to the interrogation. Police--whether FBI or any other--can ask only a few questions of someone in a public place (e.g. standing on a sidewalk) before they have to either arrest the person--if they have probable cause--or let them go.

And at your door, they're not on private property, so their ability to question you is even more limited. Unless they have something more than just a vague suspicion you're connected with a crime, you don't need to answer their questions. If they think they have enough to arrest you, let them do it and question you at their office.

There's a big constitutional free speech issue in all this about the Tucson crime. I would think federal civil rights laws would apply here, just as they do when police or other officials deprive people of other civil rights. I'm sure the government lawyers have advised everyone involved where the boundaries are, but that doesn't guarantee no one will cross them.

BTW, I thought Sarah Palin's rejoinder about a "blood libel" against her was brilliant. That was a clever reference to the ancient libel that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in ceremonial foods. I believe it's a charge in "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (still a best seller in several Muslim countries.) And it's been the excuse for pogroms in which thousands of Jews were murdered.

She seems to be implying that the leftists who are accusing her of fomenting this crime are persecuting her in the same way as Jew haters persecute Jews--that they're suggesting the blood of the victims is on her hands, and so she should be punished for what happened.

That makes them out as very bad people--like the killer--with her as their victim, just as the crime victims were his. Very nice, hard counter, and I think it landed right on the chin. I don't know if she thought it up herself, but I wouldn't be surprised. She is a force. If her detractors were anywhere near as smart as she is, they would not keep underestimating her. But I hope they do.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 228
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/3/2011 2:40:09 PM
Did the Supreme Court make the right call in Snyder v. Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church case? When the demonstrators held up their signs condemning homosexuals in the U.S. military near the funeral of the Marine (who was not gay), were they commenting on a matter "of public concern," as the Court said? Or did they themselves convert a private funeral into a public matter by alerting the news media ahead of time?
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 229
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/3/2011 5:07:47 PM
^^^^I gave the decision a quick read, and I have to agree with Justice Alito's dissent. The Court's own rule for deciding if the speech was public or private requires it to consider the *whole record.* But after the funeral, Westboro posted a long internet article explaining what it did. It mentioned Matthew Snyder and his parents by name, and it emphasized the fact he was a Catholic in justifying what it did.

The majority didn't consider this article--it said it "was not properly before us." But I agree with Alito that it was all part of the same action; Mr. Snyder didn't read the signs, either, during the funeral, because they were about 1,000 feet away. He only found out what they said when he watched TV that evening. It was seeing and hearing all this abuse then which inflicted extreme emotional distress on him.

So the intentional infliction of emotional distress--the tort Mr. Snyder had successfully sued for under Maryland law--didn't have to occur during the funeral. Afterwards was enough. Then why not consider the internet article too? If the Court *had* considered it, it would be very hard to find that Westboro had spoken only on a matter of public concern. And if it hadn't, its First Amendment defense wouldn't have worked.
 robin-hood
Joined: 12/2/2008
Msg: 230
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/4/2011 10:33:42 PM
If you keep nipping at the heels of someone thats not bothering you, their is a good chance you may loose your teeth !
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 232
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/8/2011 11:01:40 AM
PH, You have to understand that this poster's comment wasn't supposed to mean anything. Like the comments she made to me recently, it was only a cheap personal shot--this time at you.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 236
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/9/2011 8:58:02 AM
There's a lot to the Patriot Act, and I don't know that much about it. But I know your author's wrong about at least a couple points. I'll just talk about one of them.

The author calls him "American Jose Padilla," saying he had 6th Amendment rights to a speedy and public trial that the Patriot Act violated. If so, how did the Supreme Court miss that little detail when it heard his case? Here's the Court in Ex Parte Quirin, the 1942 decision that applied to Padilla and still applies to other Muslim jihadists who attack this country:

"Citizenship in the United States of an enemy belligerent does not relieve him from the consequences of a belligerency which is unlawful because in violation of the law of war. Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and, with its aid, guidance and direction, enter this country bent on hostile acts, are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war. . . Nor are [they] any the less belligerents if . . . they have not actually committed or attempted to commit any act of depredation or entered the theatre or zone of active military operations . . . The offense was complete when, with [hostile] purpose, they entered . . . our territory in time of war without uniform or other appropriate means of identification."

One of the Nazi saboteurs in Quirin was also a U.S. citizen, and he was convicted of war crimes by a military commission. No 5th Amendment right to be indicted by a grand jury; no 6th Amendment right to a jury trial; and no right to a court martial, as U.S. servicemen charged with crimes have. Just the commission, and after it convicted him, the right to file a habeas petition claiming the U.S. had no right to hold him. He did, the Court denied it, and he was soon electrocuted.

Padilla is a murderer from Chicago who'd spent years in prison. After he became a Muslim jihadist, he went to Afghanistan and met with Bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He wanted to offer his services, and they suggested he might attack targets in the U.S. The plan they finally hit on was for him, working with another man, to break the gas mains in large apartment buildings, and when the gas had spread through them, ignite it.

The U.S. only found out who Padilla was and what he was planning when KSM coughed it up after being waterboarded. Padilla was then tracked as he flew between several Muslim countries, then to Switzerland, and finally to Chicago. He was captured when he landed at O'Hare and held several years by the military. He fit the rules from Quirin pretty well--and the fact he was a U.S. citizen no longer meant a thing. Justice Rehnquist, writing for the Court, dismissed Padilla's habeas petition.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 237
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/9/2011 10:33:25 AM

where Franken actually had to read the 4th Amendment to remind him that spying on Americans doesn't seem to pass constitutional muster.


I'm surprised that illegitimate a$$hole even knew what the 4th Amendment was. And his completely ignorant opinion on whether a law complies with it doesn't mean a damn thing.


Liberals are conservatives to the Progressive Party


And even more so to Marxists.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 238
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Posted: 3/9/2011 1:35:04 PM
You described the "scenario." And there's no bias involved--just fact. The idea of an ignorant clown like Franken pretending to lecture anyone on whether some part of the Patriot Act complies with the 4th Amendment is laughable. He doesn't know a damn thing about that, and neither do you.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 242
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/15/2011 12:10:41 PM
The federal government could create plenty of jobs right away--and "shovel-ready" ones, too. It could pay half the unemployed to keep digging holes in the ground, and pay the other half to keep filling them in. And just raise taxes to cover the costs. Full employment, and every American with a living wage! Isn't that what we all want?

Government never produces anything. It never has, and it never will. It just redistributes it, losing a good deal in the process to administer the redistribution. Collecting more taxes just takes away that much money the taxpayers could have spent on whatever goods and services they wanted, distributing it in billions of little transactions every day.

That's why statism LIMITS individual freedom--it lets millions of other people who took no part in earning your money decide where a large part of it is spent. Conservatives want each individual to be free to decide how to use whatever money they own, after paying taxes to support essential services.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 244
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/16/2011 12:55:38 PM
For starters, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and possibly even Allen West. Mr. Obama's his own greatest challenge. Unless he's able to make some drastic improvement in the economy pretty soon, it won't take a particularly strong candidate to defeat him--assuming he's the candidate.

Palin's far more intelligent that her detractors want to believe (always an advantage), and she has a knack for connecting personally with voters that Mr. Obama will never have. Get Obama in a debate where he has to think on his feet, and he's not very impressive. Bachmann, as a former federal prosecutor, would score a lot of points on him. He would have a very hard time defending a lot of his past. He's been thick as thieves with any number of communists, Jew-haters, and people who openly hate this country all his adult life. And that's only the beginning of the things he's lied about. And it's all been well documented.


What creates jobs is creating tax incentives to keep jobs here. And any product coming back in from overseas imported by companies in the US should be taxed at a higher rate.


That's just a form of protectionism. It would make consumers pay a premium for domestic goods. What do you imagine that would do to this country's ability to export those goods? What would prevent other countries from retaliating by doing the same kind of thing? You might want to read what most economists think the role the Smoot-Hawley Act--pure protectionism for farmers--had in starting the Great Depression. More than 1,000 economists at the time wrote urging Congress not to pass it.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 245
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Free Speech 1st Amendment
Posted: 3/18/2011 6:17:30 PM

she should have been brought up on charges of treason


The government sure could have made a very strong case against her. First Amendment freedom of speech doesn't protect you nearly as much when you run the U.S. down while you're in a country it's at war with, as it does when you do it here. And God knows they could have found the required two witnesses to testify at trial to the things she did.

What saved her was the fact that treason has always been kind of a political crime in the U.S. In a lot of the early cases, it was used to ruin the reputation of a political enemy. And with the opposition to the Vietnam War as strong as it was by the time she went to North Vietnam, the will to prosecute her just wasn't there. I believe LBJ's fellow Texan Ramsey Clark was Attorney General then, and he was probably rooting for North Vietnam to win. I don't believe he suddenly turned into a communist head case years after he left the Justice Dept.--I suspect he leaned that way all along.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 249
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Bill of Rights
Posted: 5/17/2011 10:38:02 AM
I read it, and it sounds fine to me. Police may enter a home without a search warrant when there are "exigent circumstances." One way these circumstances arise is when it looks like evidence is about to be destroyed--where the police either must seize it now, or lose it for good.

Several states, including Kentucky, had said that the police couldn't create these exigent circumstances themselves, as an excuse to get around the warrant requirement. OK, but the Kentucky Supreme Court had gone even further. It had said that if it was "reasonably foreseeable" that what the police themselves did would create the exigent circumstances--i.e. the imminent destruction of evidence--the exception to the warrant requirement didn't apply.

But the Court said there was no way to determine--objectively--if the police themselves did something which made it "reasonably foreseeable" that the occupant(s) would destroy evidence. And the fact this determination would necessarily be so subjective made it impractical. It would be almost impossible for a trial court to decide, in a given case, if the police had knocked loud enough for the occupants to hear, used a tone of voice which made them think they had to destroy evidence, etc.

So, the Court sent the case back to let the state court determine if the facts showed the exigent circumstances existed--but this time, without applying the "reasonably foreseeable" standard.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 251
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Bill of Rights
Posted: 5/28/2011 1:21:19 PM

You'd want to think that your government has your best interests at heart, wouldn't you?


I look at it like the men who founded this country did. I assume no government ever has my best interests at heart. So for me, make the federal government no larger or stronger than it needs to be to do the basic things the Constitution authorizes it to do.

I don't like the way executive orders have come to be used--as a substitute for real laws passed by the elected members of Congress. There are several ways to control them, but none of them's a sure thing.
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