court

In a 5-3 decision, the US Supreme Court decided that it is ok for police to conduct illegal stops if an outstanding warrant is found after the fact.  I.e., police officers can stop you, demand your ID, run it and if some old parking ticket you forgot about comes up, they can search you and use anything they find as evidence for prosecution.

Until this decision was made, any stop a police officer would make without probable cause was illegal.  Now, they can stop you to search for probable cause.

Of the three justices that voted against the law, Justice Sonya Sotomayer said “this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time.  It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.”

It’s shocking and alarming that five people have decided the fates of 300 million.  We allow these people to sit, until old, broken and possibly senile, on the bench of the Supreme Court because that’s the way it’s always been.  Appointed for life.  What is stopping us from inducing term limits so these people do not become complacent.  Why are we slaves to these eight insanely powerful people; they are not better or worse than anyone else.  They should serve their four years then step down for fresh blood; intelligence and modernism – VOTED ON BY THE PEOPLE.

Sotomayor’s dissent continued,

“The court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.  Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification and check it for outstanding traffic warrants — even if you are doing nothing wrong.

“If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay,” she continued, “courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant.”

It sounds like the Supreme Court made a mistake, gifting power, unnecessarily, to law enforcement.  Our fourth amendment was specifically put in place to keep police from overreaching, to keep them from stopping you out of curiosity.

It may be time for a revolution.