30 November 2007

To Hell With The 4th Amendment

Latest news from Boston warrantless searches. A request to parents to search their kids' rooms is enough, officials say. It was wrong when it was proposed -- it's wrong now.

Even scarier? The words of writer Jeff Soyer, who states succinctly: "And let me tell you something, folks, when the government gets used to being allowed to search without a warrant, it tends not to want to give that tool up anytime in the future."

I concur.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that this has always been legal. If you consent to a search, no warrant is required.

The thing that concerns me is that Boston is actively encouraging its officers to use this tactic and its citizens to consent.

I predict that it won't be long before some audio or video recordings start coming out starring Boston LEOs bullying their way into homes and swearing that the tenant consented to the search.

There's just too much potential for abuse.

Brent Greer said...


True, there is no warrant needed if you consent when asked. We see police trick drivers pulled over for speeding into allowing a search of the vehicle, even when it was never warranted. But the police know that people are going to feel guilty if they don't consent to the house search, and that is the legal coercion they will use. And what of a parent who declines based on Constitutional grounds? Does that house now come under suspicion merely because the homeowner knows their rights? I think you are right on about recordings being needed because of potential "he said, she said" situations.