Saturday, February 4, 2012

What's the Sound of a Boot Stamping on Your Face Forever?

[Art.] 19. [Searches and Seizures Regulated.] Every subject hath a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. Therefore, all warrants to search suspected places, or arrest a person for examination or trial in prosecutions for criminal matters, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order, in a warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be issued; but in cases and with the formalities, prescribed by law.
June 2, 1784
What an unremittingly oppressive day at the NH Legislative Office Building, spent entirely in the company of the House Criminal "Justice" Committee, primarily for 3 bills bound to make any nanny/police-state authoritarian worth his (or her) jackboots -- and they all do eventually seem to find their way to government "service," now don't they? -- recoil to bare their fangs and hiss menacingly, contempt fairly dripping from their jowls. But your humble chronicler does it all for you, gentle reader. And I swear to you I died not just a little inside this day. Proceed with caution.

A veritably endless procession of the usual suspects portending the end of civilization should the People regain the slightest semblance of their Constitutionally guaranteed liberty. Government disregard for the clear rule of law must prevail. Government's own preferred twisted interpretation of the clearly imposed limits on its authority must be, um... authoritative.

The next 2 in this session's previously-reported phalanx of marijuana bills are soon to come. But we'll start here with HB1452, "prohibiting the establishment of sobriety checkpoints," before the NH House Criminal Justice Committee, 2/2/2012.

The AG's Office, the Liquor Commission, the State Police, local police, Fish & Game. Everybody wants in on protecting established "due process" and 4th Amendment eviscerations. BUT WE HAVE STATISTICS...!!! Hardly unexpected, I suppose, but gawd how depressing.

To the assembled autocrats:
Expedience is not justification for violation of "due process" and the 4th Amendment.
Statistics are not justification for violation of "due process" and the 4th Amendment.
Cost is not justification for violation of "due process" and the 4th Amendment.
"Success" is not justification for violation of "due process" and the 4th Amendment.
None of these things are justification for violation of morality and justice.

Look. Probable cause is required to impose a typical traffic stop. A reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime has been or is about to be committed. Yet at a "sobriety checkpoint," this causal relationship is turned on its head: the stop is necessary to discover a probable cause. See the problem?

Perhaps not predictably, but certainly unsurprisingly, a reliable inside source informed your humble chronicler that the Committee got a visit from House leadership not too much later that very afternoon with instructions to officially recommend to the full body that the bill be killed (an 'ITL,' or 'Inexpedient to Legislate' recommendation, which is typically upheld -- cuz, y'know, the committee did all that hard work, an' all...).

If you object to being detained without probable cause at fishing-expedition traps -- don't believe you're being detained? crack the window and ask the nice public servant if you're free to go -- then I strongly recommend you contact your "representatives" and explain it to them.

Just remember, these people believe they're somehow entitled to control our lives. FSM help us...

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