A View From The Handbasket

Friday, June 16, 2006
Alito enables baby steps for police state
Posted by neros_fiddle at 10:41 AM

These things happen in small steps, and the Supreme Court provided yet another shuffle forward yesterday, as they allowed some illegally gathered evidence to be presented in court, specifically concerning violations of the "knock and announce" rule. The vote was 5-4, with Alito considered to have provided the crucial swing.

The majority opinion, authored by Scalia, cited "increasing evidence that police forces across the United States take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously," and thus we shouldn't be too hard on them in those instances when they break the rules. Besides, Scalia noted, citizens are free to sue the police if they feel they've been treated wrongly.

On the plus side, citizens no longer have to fear the storied "knock on the door in the middle of the night." They don't have to knock anymore.

(By the way, for those itching to comment that "knock and announce" coddles criminals who can't wait to flush their weed down the toilet, there are already well-established exceptions to this rule in cases of "1) apprehension of peril 2) useless gesture and 3) the destruction of evidence.")

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