The Right and Individual Rights

Interesting piece in the NY Times that spends a lot of time on Judge Roberts writing a testy dissent. What is more interesting is the following:

A Supreme Court decision on Wednesday in an uncelebrated criminal case did more than resolve a dispute over whether the police can search a home without a warrant when one occupant gives consent but another objects.

***

Writing for the majority, Justice David H. Souter said the search was unreasonable, given the vocal objection of the husband, Scott Randolph. True, Justice Souter said, the court had long permitted one party to give consent to a search of shared premises under what is known as the “co-occupant consent rule.” But he said that rule should be limited to the context in which it was first applied, the absence of the person who later objected.

The presence of the objecting person changed everything, Justice Souter said, noting that it defied “widely shared social expectations” for someone to come to the door of a dwelling and to cross the threshold at one occupant’s invitation if another objected.

“Without some very good reason, no sensible person would go inside under those conditions,” he said.

“We have, after all, lived our whole national history with an understanding of the ancient adage that a man’s home is his castle,” Justice Souter said. “Disputed permission is thus no match for this central value of the Fourth Amendment.”

Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the majority opinion, as did Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who explained himself in a concurring opinion notable for its ambivalent tone. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. did not vote, as he was not a member of the court when the case was argued.

The dissenters, in addition to Chief Justice Roberts, were Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. In his opinion, the chief justice took aim at the majority’s description of social custom, as well as its reliance on that description to reshape “a great deal of established Fourth Amendment law.”

Every lower federal court to have considered the issue, as well as most state courts, had concluded that one party’s consent was sufficient. The Georgia Supreme Court, in its 2004 decision that the justices affirmed, was in the minority, ruling in this case that the evidence of Mr. Randolph’s cocaine use was inadmissible.

“The fact is that a wide variety of differing social situations can readily be imagined, giving rise to quite different social expectations,” Chief Justice Roberts said. For example, he continued, “a guest who came to celebrate an occupant’s birthday, or one who had traveled some distance for a particular reason, might not readily turn away simply because of a roommate’s objection.”

Noting that “the possible scenarios are limitless,” he said, “Such shifting expectations are not a promising foundation on which to ground a constitutional rule, particularly because the majority has no support for its basic assumption — that an invited guest encountering two disagreeing co-occupants would flee — beyond a hunch about how people would typically act in an atypical situation.”

The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods, and the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistributing wealth like their brethern on the left, instead have decided that the state must have excessive rights in order to ‘protect’ us all from whatever the imagined fear du jour might be. Meanwhile, no one is left protecting us from the religionists and the the state itself.

In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ‘traditional’ marriage deserve protection. According to the actions of the current Republican party, the rest of us need to be wiretapped, monitored, have our homes inspected for whatever reason without warrants, and are incapable of making decisions on our own. My 20 year affair with the Republican party is coming to an end. I am not voting for any Republican in 2006 at any level, and I will be hard pressed to vote for this party in 2008- unless, of course, Cindy Sheehan is the Democratic candidate. These ‘conservatives’ need abut 10-15 years in the wilderness.

*** Update ***

If you read this Patterico post, it would lead you to believe I am misinterpreting the dissent. No matter- I am still fed up with the GOP.

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400 replies
  1. 1
    Clever says:

    Any level? Really?

    Thats quite a statement. I think you might want to amend it to “current Republicans” as there might be some people new to the field that aren’t from the same school as the current set of incompetents.

  2. 2
    Jim Allen says:

    My 20 year affair with the Republican party is coming to an end. I am not voting for any Republican in 2006 at any level, and I will be hard pressed to vote for this party in 2008- unless, of course, Cindy Sheehan is the Democratic candidate. These ‘conservatives’ need abut 10-15 years in the wilderness.

    John, I’ve been waiting for, and expecting, this exact post for some time now. You may be criticized (by some, not by me) for taking too long to come to this point, but I’m glad you made this decision. The “10-15 years in the wilderness” is appropriate as well, given how the Democrats have fared since 1994.

    And I’m giving you a ‘bye’ on the Sheehan snark, as I would also not consider her as a candidate for anything.

    I gave up being a Democrat a long time ago, and have been registered “independent” or “unaligned” depending on where I’ve lived. Yeah, I generally vote for the Democratic candidates, but I no longer want to be identified with any party. Gives me some cover, I guess, something along the line of “plausible deniability”.

    “The fact is that a wide variety of differing social situations can readily be imagined, giving rise to quite different social expectations,” Chief Justice Roberts said. For example, he continued, “a guest who came to celebrate an occupant’s birthday, or one who had traveled some distance for a particular reason, might not readily turn away simply because of a roommate’s objection.”

    My first thought on reading this was that Roberts seems pretty quick to confuse the arrival of the police at your door with a “social situation”. Thinking back to my college years, that may not be as big a leap as I first thought, but still…

  3. 3
    slickdpdx says:

    I think both sides have some good points. I’m wondering when we’ll see the first trespass arrest in a case where one tenant forbids a person to enter and another invites the person to do so. John: doesn’t your outrage assign more weight to the choice of the non-consenting individual. If so, why?

  4. 4
    D. Mason says:

    These ‘conservatives’ need abut 10-15 years in the wilderness.

    John John John … you need to work on your spelling. There is no “w” in slammer.

  5. 5
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    Welcome to the fold. For future reference, the time to start worrying is when the government claims the right to designate a U.S. citizen as an enemy combatant, and hold that person without trial indefinitely. Or a little under four years ago.

  6. 6
    Krista says:

    We have, after all, lived our whole national history with an understanding of the ancient adage that a man’s home is his castle,” Justice Souter said

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting things, but I can’t help but wonder what Justice Souter’s opinion would have been, had Mrs. Randolph been the one vehemently objecting to the search.

  7. 7

    Well said.

    This isn’t really anything new, it’s just that the Republican party has been very good at distracting everybody.

    One of the main reasons I ended up voting for Bill Clinton in 1992 was because of his attitude towards law enforcement. As opposed to the commando style raid attitude promoted by Reagan/Bush. Clinton understood and believed in communities, of getting more cops on the street so that they had time to get to know people.

    I come from a family of law enforcement. My great-grandfather was a Sheriff, and my uncle was a Deputy and his wife is still with the State Patrol. I’m what I call a Law & Order Democrat.

    Law & Order is promoted through respect, not fear.

    Along with the budget issues, what changed me for life into an anti-Republican and a pro-Democrat was the COPS program. Clinton’s proposal… and the Republicans opposition, and eventual destruction of the program.

    The attitude that is behind Alito/Roberts/Scalia/Thomas doesn’t halt crime, it only encourages it. They claim they are being tough, but they aren’t. They’re like a stalinist dictator talking about freedom. They are an arsonist who throws gas on the fire cheering himself as he then tries to put it out.

  8. 8
    Mr Furious says:

    Glad to hear it, John. Seriously. No snark, no “told ya so’s” or anything. You are being honest with yourself and the rest of us, and I respect and appreciate it.

    If Debbie Stabenow doesn’t get in line behind Feingold, I won’t be voting for her either. She has tested me too many times already. Levin gets a bit more slack. But I am done pulling levers for Party as well.

  9. 9
    Mr Furious says:

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting things, but I can’t help but wonder what Justice Souter’s opinion would have been, had Mrs. Randolph been the one vehemently objecting to the search.

    Krista, I thought the same thing.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Andrew says:

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting things, but I can’t help but wonder what Justice Souter’s opinion would have been, had Mrs. Randolph been the one vehemently objecting to the search.

    Women can’t own castles, silly.

  12. 12
    Jim Allen says:

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting things, but I can’t help but wonder what Justice Souter’s opinion would have been, had Mrs. Randolph been the one vehemently objecting to the search.

    Back into the kitchen, woman! And take off those shoes!

  13. 13
    srv says:

    My god, I hadn’t seen that part of the dissent. Roberts confuses the 4th Ammendment with visitors rights? I read only the part where he talked about domestic abuse (another canard).

  14. 14
    Ancient Purple says:

    What never ceases to amaze me is the number of people who want to defer to the government first and the individual second.

    Why? Why is it always that the individual is not to be trusted but the government is?

    So, boo-effing-hoo, some evidence on a drug bust won’t get included and a bad guy will go free.

    That is a very tiny price to pay for keeping the 4th Amendment intact.

  15. 15
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    Jeebus. Are you people kidding? The case comes out our way, and the standard phrasing is enough to make you think there is a hidden female exception here? John Cole’s changed his mind, not the country; we’re still on defense.

  16. 16
    baltar says:

    I came around to this position (no Republicans in 2006) a while ago. I don’t think it matters in Morgantown, WV, however, as our US Rep is a dem, and no real challenger, our senator – Byrd – could die and would still win, and most of the local races will be fairly irrelevant.

    I’m fairly certain I won’t vote for an R in 2008, but hold out the very slim hope that some Republican unassociated with this administration might get the nomination. I’ll likely vote “D”.

  17. 17
    the friendly grizzly says:

    The GOP (God’s Ordained Party) is so busy taking away civil liberties that we ALL value. They keep the party faithful distracted with “Look! Over there! It’s one one of them thar HOMOS! And he’s burning a flag at a pro-choice rally!” Meantime, the Constitution goes into the crapper just as fast, or faster, than it would under the Democrats.

    A pox on both their houses.

  18. 18
    Steve says:

    What’s depressing is that the fresh blood John longs for in the Republican Party has already come and gone, in the form of the freshman class of 1994. I really thought a lot of those Republicans showed great potential to change the way things are done; they had new ideas, a lot of energy, and a genuine commitment to fiscal conservatism. But along the way, they either got co-opted or fell by the wayside. After 1994, tbere was basically a war between the new guard who wanted to accomplish conservative goals, and the old guard whose first priority was revenge for all those years they suffered under the Democratic yoke. And the old guard won easily, of course.

    One example is Sen. Peter Fitzgerald from Illinois, who really impressed me as a good conservative, a straight shooter. By 2000 he was retiring in disgust after just one term in the Senate, tired of being repatedly punished by his party for being a principled conservative and speaking his mind.

    If the Democrats do get the wave they are hoping for in 2006 or 2008 I hope they listen to their new members and the ideas they bring. I’m not expecting it to happen, mind you. But using your power for good is a lot more important than getting revenge on Bush and all those other Republicans who were mean to you.

  19. 19
    jg says:

    Now thats how to toss a zinger at Cindy Sheehan. LOL

    If the owner of the house consents to the search its legal IMO. If there are two owners they have to both consent if they are both there.

  20. 20
    Mac Buckets says:

    The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods

    Conflating a Supreme Court decision and GOP Congressmen doesn’t strike me as incredibly on-target, but whatever. Do what you feel you must.

    All the 3 conservative justices (who are not up for re-election in 2006, by the way) did was attempt to uphold the decision of “every lower federal court to have considered the issue, as well as most state courts.” What about Roberts’ opinion doesn’t ring true? Souter’s opinion seems based on adages and illusory “social customs” that the police must somehow all know and adhere to. Those sort of nebulous signifiers are going to open many cans of many worms, I can tell you, and this very limited ruling shouldn’t be allowed to have that effect.

    I know these drugs cases are always important to you, but it’s a fairly easy argument to make that if public sentiment runs toward changing the search law to have the “no” overrride the “yes,” they should do it in statehouses instead of in the courthouses (which is an ever more radical concept every year, it seems).

    Meanwhile, no one is left protecting us from the religionists and the the state itself.

    How did I know this would all come back to “the religionists?” Yeah, no one busts down my born-again neighbors’ door to search for their Bibles and pamphlets, yet they’ll seize someone’s crack pipe! What kind of country has this become?

  21. 21
    Jim Allen says:

    But using your power for good is a lot more important than getting revenge on Bush and all those other Republicans who were mean to you.

    A good multitasker will be able to handle both, I think.

  22. 22
    metalgrid says:

    Umm, what was it particularly about this case that caused all the angst John? The 4th has been dragged through the mud by pretty much all the justices who were on the majority, first in ‘reasonable’ searches of drivers and cars for drugs when stopped for traffic violations, then on requirements for identification produced on demand, and a few more to boot.

    So, I’m being serious here, those previous ones included some drug related findings, as did this one, so what’s the big difference?

  23. 23
    Krista says:

    One example is Sen. Peter Fitzgerald from Illinois, who really impressed me as a good conservative, a straight shooter. By 2000 he was retiring in disgust after just one term in the Senate, tired of being repatedly punished by his party for being a principled conservative and speaking his mind.

    Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me. The current Republican party doesn’t even accept dissent and candor from the opposing party. There’s no way in hell they’d accept it from within.

    SomeCallMeTim: Relax, dude. Like I said, I could have been misinterpreting things. It was just an aside that struck me as being a bit odd. It’s certainly not central to the issue.

  24. 24
    Jim Allen says:

    I know these drugs cases are always important to you, but it’s a fairly easy argument to make that if public sentiment runs toward changing the search law to have the “no” overrride the “yes,” they should do it in statehouses instead of in the courthouses (which is an ever more radical concept every year, it seems).

    Mac, are you saying then that if the statehouses pass these laws that the courts have no business deciding if these laws are constitutional? The statehouses can pass all the laws they want — and those laws will stand until someone objects, and makes their case to a court. These decisions don’t appear out of thin air, a point that seems lost on most people (of any persuasion) who complain about an “activist judiciary”. Someone files a complaint, and the system takes over from there. The statehouse may be passing the law, but they aren’t the final arbiters of whether the law is constituional, the courts are.

  25. 25
    Paul L. says:

    Great Roberts Dissent in Search Case
    “The Times’s David Savage characterizes Roberts’s argument in a cartoonish way designed to make it look unreasonable:

    The ruling, the first major criminal law decision of this term, came over a strong dissent from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. He said people who share a dwelling give up most of their privacy rights.

    That is an unfair reading of the dissent, which explains:

    The majority also mischaracterizes this dissent as assuming that “privacy shared with another individual is privacy waived for all purposes including warrantless searches by the police.” Ante, at 11, n.4. The point, of course, is not that a person waives his privacy by sharing space with others such that police may enter at will, but that sharing space necessarily entails a limited yielding of privacy to the person with whom the space is shared, such that the other person shares authority to consent to a search of the shared space.

    That is not the same as giving up most of your privacy rights.

    A great performance by Roberts, and a typically poor one by The Times. ”
    Note that the Times is the LA Times not the NY Times article John linked to.

    In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ‘traditional’ marriage deserve protection.

    You forgot the right to Bear Arms.
    Here let me change your parting shot at Republicans.
    In a new Democratic era, only Terrorists , Murderers, and Criminals deserve protection.

  26. 26
    Dantheman says:

    “the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistributing wealth like their brethern on the left”

    Um, no. They want to redistribute it, just in the other direction (as you note by including tax shelters in the list of sacred cows).

    Otherwise, good post, and welcome aboard the U.S.S. Shrill.

  27. 27
    jg says:

    Souter’s opinion seems based on adages and illusory “social customs” that the police must somehow all know and adhere to.

    the system is designed to prevent innocent people from going to jail, its not designed to make it impossible for people to commit crime or to make the cops job easier.

  28. 28
    metalgrid says:

    Heh, quoting from Patterico, that’s rich. That man wouldn’t know the difference between positive and negative rights and the nature of the constitution if the founding fathers sat him down and explained it to him.

  29. 29
    Walter says:

    “The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods, and the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistributing wealth like their brethern on the left, instead have decided that the state must have excessive rights in order to ‘protect’ us all from whatever the imagined fear du jour might be.”

    Although this current crop of Republicans supports slightly lower tax rates, judging by the numbers they are redistributing much more wealth than their Democratic predecessors.

  30. 30

    Women can’t own castles, silly.

    But they can have huge tracts of land!

  31. 31
    Mona says:

    John, I have certainly had it with the GOP in many ways, but the Roberts dissent does not trouble me. He’s right. Virtually all other courts have held you only need the consent of one party to search an area over which there is joint authority. With this decision, the cops will now simply wait until their target — the one likely to refuse if s/he is awake to do so — is not home.

    I hate Scalia lately, for Raich among other things, but he was awesome in Kyollo (sp?) holding that the Court won’t permit law enforcement to vitiate the 4th Am by searching with high tech stuff, like infrared devices, without a warrant. Scalia said the SCOTUS won’t have technology shredding the privacy interests protected by the warrant requirement. Now that was an important holding.

    Myself, I reserve my outrage at the GOP for stuff like the clear violations of law in the NSA warrantless spying scandal. Not this unexceptionable dissent from John Roberts.

  32. 32
    GOP4Me says:

    So, you’re no longer a Republican, John?

    Behold your new friends in the commentariat. Enjoy life among this Bolshevik rabble, traitor. Give my regards to Paddy.

  33. 33
    Pb says:

    Krista,

    Yeah, you are–the “a man’s home is his castle” is the proverbial quote to show how the Fourth Amendment also has roots in English Common Law.

    there was also a rich English experience to draw on. ”Every man’s house is his castle” was a maxim much celebrated in England, as was demonstrated in Semayne’s Case, decided in 1603. 2 A civil case of execution of process, Semayne’s Case nonetheless recognized the right of the homeowner to defend his house against unlawful entry even by the King’s agents, but at the same time recognized the authority of the appropriate officers to break and enter upon notice in order to arrest or to execute the King’s process.

    My guess is, Roberts wants to weaken the Fourth Amendment here as part of an effort to show that there is no right to privacy in the Constitution. Par for the course for a Rehnquist follower, I guess…

  34. 34
    Pb says:

    Classy, GOP4Me, holding party above country. Let me know how those warrantless searches work out for ya.

  35. 35

    […] John Cole has completed his renunciation of the light and his embrace of darkness. It is not a pretty sight to behold: In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ‘traditional’ marriage deserve protection. According to the actions of the current Republican party, the rest of us need to be wiretapped, monitored, have our homes inspected for whatever reason without warrants, and are incapable of making decisions on our own. My 20 year affair with the Republican party is coming to an end. I am not voting for any Republican in 2006 at any level, and I will be hard pressed to vote for this party in 2008- unless, of course, Cindy Sheehan is the Democratic candidate. These ‘conservatives’ need abut 10-15 years in the wilderness. […]

  36. 36
    Steve says:

    I know these drugs cases are always important to you, but it’s a fairly easy argument to make that if public sentiment runs toward changing the search law to have the “no” overrride the “yes,” they should do it in statehouses instead of in the courthouses (which is an ever more radical concept every year, it seems).

    Look, the Fourth Amendment means whatever it means. Reasonable people can disagree over the meaning, but if we’re going to put it up for a majority vote, we might as well not have a Fourth Amendment in the first place.

    Personally, I think this was a rather hair-splitting decision. One of the ways the courts help enforce the Constitution and the laws is by giving the police very clear, bright-line rules to work with. Given all the factual nuances present in this particular case, I’m not sure the Court succeeded in that goal.

  37. 37
    Remfin says:

    I liked the part where Roberts brought up “what about spousal abuse!” and the majority basically says “Roberts, you idiot, they would have probable cause anyway and wouldn’t be asking (or wouldn’t need it even if they were polite enough to ask and were declined) for permission”

    Some on the right were hoping for another Rehnquist, or a Scalia (although Scalia has never impressed me, he’s as bad as them all and then lies about it to boot). Instead they got a Thomas who argues from feelings

  38. 38
    Brian says:

    but it’s a fairly easy argument to make that if public sentiment runs toward changing the search law to have the “no” overrride the “yes,” they should do it in statehouses instead of in the courthouses

    Agreed. This is a point (using elected officials, rather than courts, to write/change laws) that I come back to often on this site, as recently as yesterday.

    I identify as a conservative, but will likely vote Independent in ’08. (The Dem’s have nothing to offer the country.) But the reactions from the Left toward “the religionists” is pure hatred. The Left literally embraces and accepts hatred toward this group, fearful that they just might make a dent in the Left’s long fought-for ascendancy over all things cultural: entertainment, news media, public schooling, abortion, etc.

    Their fears, well-documented in comments on this site and others, are just that: fears, which have little basis in reality and betray their lack of trust in Americans as people of good conscience. The Left’s is a top-down philosophy that must expel, thru withering attacks as a means, any potential THREAT to undermine its position.

    This fear, and this hateful political philosophy, must be called out at every single turn.

  39. 39
    jg says:

    With this decision, the cops will now simply wait until their target—the one likely to refuse if s/he is awake to do so—is not home.

    Nothing wrong with good policework.

    but if we’re going to put it up for a majority vote, we might as well not have a Fourth Amendment in the first place.

    Since there is nothing in the constitution that gives any branch of government the rigth to search a person or his property there is in fact no need for the fourth amendment.

  40. 40
    rilkefan says:

    Note to everybody: if Cindy runs for office, you’re honor-bound to vote for her however painful that it. We owe it to John.

  41. 41
    metalgrid says:


    Since there is nothing in the constitution that gives any branch of government the rigth to search a person or his property there is in fact no need for the fourth amendment.

    That’s because you apparently hold to a quaint classical liberal notion that the constituion is written to limit the transgressions of government on the citizenry and not to spell out what rights a citizen retains against an unlimited government – a view that is rather common on both conservative and liberal sides.

  42. 42
    McNulty says:

    Well, if you already know who all the “R” candidates in your elections will be, and you’ve decided you don’t like them, then i guess you’re plan makes sense.

    Otherwise, it’s pretty silly. I mean, you should’ve been voting candidate and not party all along.

    And while i realize you said you WON’T be voting Republican and not that you will be voting all Democrat, if you’re horrified by what one-party (Republican) rule has brought this country, i’ll gladly invite you to come here to Philly and take you on tours of North or West or Southwest Philly, or Kensington, or any other number of neighborhoods, and show you what one-party Democratic rule gets you.

  43. 43
    stickler says:

    There is no “w” in slammer.

    Oh, have patience. I’m reasonably confident that there’ll be a “W” in the slammer someday soon.

  44. 44
    jg says:

    This is a point (using elected officials, rather than courts, to write/change laws) that I come back to often on this site, as recently as yesterday.

    And as usual your point is wrong. The elected officials make law, the courts decide if the law is constitutional. Courts don’t write laws no matter how many different ways that erronious point is made to you by Rush and other right wingers who in actuallity don’t like this country. Its called checks and balances.

    Just because you ‘feel’ this country is gone to hell doesn’t make it true. I suspect its caused by your lack of understanding of this country and its laws.

  45. 45
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    I’m having a personal crisis today. I just posted a defense of John Cole over on Scrutator.

    I…I…please…somebody … help me!

  46. 46
    Mona says:

    Remfin says: I liked the part where Roberts brought up “what about spousal abuse!” and the majority basically says “Roberts, you idiot, they would have probable cause anyway and wouldn’t be asking (or wouldn’t need it even if they were polite enough to ask and were declined) for permission”

    The article I read — I believe the one John linked to — indicates that Roberts was appealling to Breyer and hoping with Breyer to form a majority; Breyer was the “idiot” who during oral argument in the case expressed concern about domestic abuse situations.

    Look, I’m not the biggest John Roberts fan — I like Alito much better on states rights ands Commerce Clause matters. Roberts would have probably joined hypocrite Scalia in Raich. But Roberts’ dissent in this 4th Am case is just that big of a deal.

  47. 47
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac, are you saying then that if the statehouses pass these laws that the courts have no business deciding if these laws are constitutional?

    Of course not — but I don’t think the court so much strike down an unconstitutional law here as much as they actually re-wrote the law by actively changing the search criterion from what it was when the police took their action. But mainly, I’m just saying that rather than obviously manufacturing a lazy, nebulous, and arguably silly decision to change the legal standard for “permission,” it would be better to pass a new law with new criteria for such searches, if public sentiment is for that.

  48. 48
    GOP4Me says:

    I’m having a personal crisis today. I just posted a defense of John Cole over on Scrutator.

    I…I…please…somebody … help me!

    Get used to it, you Guinness-chugger. He’s on your side now.

  49. 49
    Pooh says:

    Virtually all other courts have held you only need the consent of one party to search an area over which there is joint authority.

    Consent of one party in the absence of permission or denial by the other is categorically different then when on party consents and the other does not. I don’t see how that’s even a particularly troublesome distinction.

  50. 50
    jg says:

    Since there is nothing in the constitution that gives any branch of government the rigth to search a person or his property there is in fact no need for the fourth amendment.

    That’s because you apparently hold to a quaint classical liberal notion that the constituion is written to limit the transgressions of government on the citizenry and not to spell out what rights a citizen retains against an unlimited government – a view that is rather common on both conservative and liberal sides.

    Or its because I’m of the opinion that the constitution spells out the powers that the branches of gov’t have. Thats all. If it ain’t in article 1, 2, or 3 then the gov’t doesn’t have that power. The problem comes in when you add an amendment specifying gov’t can’t do something that it didn’t have the power to do anyway. People interpret that as an implied power of the gov’t that can be restored in extreme emergencies, such as wartime. This is one of many reasons not all of the founding fathers wanted to include a Bill Of Rights.

  51. 51
    DJAnyReason says:

    Patterico’s post seems entirely worthless. He simply quotes from Roberts’ dissent, from the majority opinion, from the Times article, and throws up a few editorializing comments of the nature “Great dissent by Roberts!” and “Poor showing by the Times!”

  52. 52
    Jackmormon says:

    Pb is right, I fear. This dissent seems to lay down a small piece in what will become the groundwork for a more limited definition of privacy.

    (For every “house” in the various opinions, try reading “body.”)

  53. 53
    metalgrid says:


    Or its because I’m of the opinion that the constitution spells out the powers that the branches of gov’t have. Thats all.

    Indeed, you are agreeing with me. The constitution limits government power by specifying what its responsibilities are and how far its power reaches.


    If it ain’t in article 1, 2, or 3 then the gov’t doesn’t have that power. The problem comes in when you add an amendment specifying gov’t can’t do something that it didn’t have the power to do anyway. People interpret that as an implied power of the gov’t that can be restored in extreme emergencies, such as wartime. This is one of many reasons not all of the founding fathers wanted to include a Bill Of Rights.

    And that is why your opinion isn’t widely shared on either sides of the isle. I read a rather interesting post today on another blog where a person concluded that democracies don’t flourish as bastions of liberty unless over 50% of the population is enlightened (whatever that means). Seems to me that applies to our friends on the conservative and liberal sides that fail to share our opinion. It’s saddening how few people realize that we live in a constitutional republic and not a stright up democracy here where the views of the majority trumps all others with an over reliance on legislatures and view the largely negative powers of the courts as a threat.

  54. 54
    ppGaz says:

    Every 90 days or so, I have to take off my scary mask and admit that despite the insufferable hard time I give you on a day to day basis, you are the man when it comes to honest righty blogging.

    Congrats on a fine post and keep up the good work.

  55. 55
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    I wonder what GOP4ME chugs?

  56. 56
    fwiffo says:

    For those puzzled why this ruling of seemly narrow scope is what finally broke Mr. Cole, one need only imagine a camel heaped with vast quantities of straw. A angry, libertarian, dromedary camel. I knew it would be a libertarian bugaboo that would finally be that last straw (not to imply that I disagree with the bugaboo in the slightest.)

    I came to the same conclusion myself (never voting Republican at any level) several years ago. I am certainly not happy being a partisan Democrat (or a partisan ANYTHING.) But voting anything other than straight ticket Dem makes me complicit in potentially creating a possible Republican majority somewhere, which is an unacceptable condition.

    Even if there’s a moderate Republican that I like, and is highly qualified, and agrees with me on virtually everything, I still must vote against them. If Republicans have the majority anywhere, the policies will be dictated by the wackos.

  57. 57
    Ancient Purple says:

    Enjoy life among this Bolshevik rabble, traitor.

    So now we have it confirmed for history: if you disagree with the GOP on anything, you are a traitor to the party, the country and God.

    Barry Goldwater, your party is officially dead.

  58. 58
    Mac Buckets says:

    the system is designed to prevent innocent people from going to jail,

    Actually, this decision seems designed to prevent a guilty person from going to jail (I mean, the police found his coke).

    I would like to think the justice system is designed to achieve justice. I don’t see the Constitutional basis for placing one party’s wishes over the other party’s wishes in a cohabitation scenario, or how this achieves justice, when the majority of cases have shown that a co-occupant has legally accepted the risk that “the third party with common authority over the premises would permit” the search.

    Look, it’s a tiny case that won’t affect much of anything, and I’m not going to overreact (as opposed to the Honorable Blogger here). It’s not the end of the Union, it’s not Satan running amok. It’s just a silly, overreaching opinion in my view.

  59. 59
    Mac Buckets says:

    If Republicans have the majority anywhere, the policies will be dictated by the wackos.

    Of course, the converse to that is one reason the Democrats have lost all their power. I guess lots of folks see wackos where they want to see wackos.

  60. 60
    Capriccio says:

    I have a feeling this is going to be the most liberating post JC has ever written…might even help him with those nasty health issues. Many of us who visit Balloon Juice on a fairly regular basis have been well aware of John’s struggle with his inner Democrat. The loss of course will be ours because we lose a Republican with integrity who we can throw in the faces of our wingnut friends and relatives, but it’s an election and in the end it’s votes that matter, not debate points.

    I also think the obligatory Cindy Sheehan shot is revealing: Let me slip into my Dr. Melfi pantyhose here for a moment: In the dark nights of his soul, John has probably seen this move coming for some time, and he’s blown Cindy so way out of proportion as a defense mechanism. As long as his demonized Cindy represented all things Democrat for him, he could resist the urge to convert. Now that he can resist no longer, he has to make sure that everyone knows that even if he’s getting in bed with her, he’s still not going to touch her.

    Relax, JC, as a dedicated lefty who travels frequently through the progressive/liberal/democratic blogosphere, I’m here to tell you that the Evil Cindy of wingnut legend is mostly a figment of your hysteria. As soon as you stop obsessing about her: poof! She’ll vanish from your nightmares.

    One man’s cesspool is another man’s River of Jordan.

  61. 61
    John S. says:

    I wonder what GOP4ME chugs?

    Anything that is excreted by Bush or the current Republican party.

  62. 62
    Steve says:

    Since there is nothing in the constitution that gives any branch of government the rigth to search a person or his property there is in fact no need for the fourth amendment.

    Well, that’s an interesting view that I hadn’t considered. But don’t you think the existence of a prohibition on “unreasonable searches and seizures” pretty much implies that, for better or for worse, the Framers expected the government to be conducting some type of “searches and seizures”?

    Can you point to a single person who said “wait, there’s no need for this Fourth Amendment, the government isn’t going to have the power to search anyone in the first place”?

  63. 63
    metalgrid says:


    I would like to think the justice system is designed to achieve justice. I don’t see the Constitutional basis for placing one party’s wishes over the other party’s wishes in a cohabitation scenario, or how this achieves justice, when the majority of cases have shown that a co-occupant has legally accepted the risk that “the third party with common authority over the premises would permit” the search.

    It’s not that hard to explain (despite how the legal terms and SCOTUS justifications muddy the waters). If you own stuff, and I own the same stuff and thus we own it jointly, if you give permission for someone to take that stuff over my objections, you are in effect giving them permission to take my stuff despite me saying no.

    So when it comes to the government coming in and searching a jointly owned property, you saying ok while I say no, is in effect, you giving them permission to search someone else’s property, despite you owning it as well.

    It basically expands the view of privacy to encompass shared space in individual terms. That is a good thing.

  64. 64
    D. Mason says:

    Brian, while I pretty much agree with everything you said, I also find it curious how you point only to “the left” and their hatred towards “the religionists”. This thing is a two-way street, “the religionists” are just as guilty as “the left“. They demonize one another at every oportunity, they both use the law to attack the other. In many ways they’re like a mirror reflection of the other. Ironic really.

  65. 65
    jg says:

    the system is designed to prevent innocent people from going to jail,

    Actually, this decision seems designed to prevent a guilty person from going to jail (I mean, the police found his coke).

    This time it did. But I’m talking about the larger picture not an individual case. Forcing cops to strictly follow the law prevents bad cops from having free reign over an area, prevents innocents from being sent up. Its trying to keep the police and court systems from previous countries from appearing here. Due process, its a good thing, its not a hindrance to prosecution.

  66. 66
    jg says:

    Can you point to a single person who said “wait, there’s no need for this Fourth Amendment, the government isn’t going to have the power to search anyone in the first place”?

    I think it was Hamilton but I could be mistaken. I read it during the beginnings of the FISA crap when someone linked to his writings.

  67. 67
    Davebo says:

    Otherwise, it’s pretty silly. I mean, you should’ve been voting candidate and not party all along.

    That doesn’t do much good if your candidate is elected, then strong armed by the party to tow the party line or face ostracism, cuts in campaing support, etc.

  68. 68
    Mac Buckets says:

    Forcing cops to strictly follow the law prevents bad cops from having free reign over an area, prevents innocents from being sent up.

    That doesn’t make any sense. The cops did strictly follow the law in this case. The USSC just changed the law so that what they did is now deemed to be illegal search.

  69. 69
    GOP4Me says:

    Anything that is excreted by Bush or the current Republican party.

    That is not true. I do not consume the excretions of other humans.

    Beyond that, what else is there to say? Are there any other questions about my dietary predilections? I can assert with confidence that they are far less alcoholic than those of Mr. O’Shea- or of anyone else here who ever drinks alcohol, for that matter, since I don’t.

  70. 70
    fwiffo says:

    Of course, the converse to that is one reason the Democrats have lost all their power. I guess lots of folks see wackos where they want to see wackos.

    Well, IIRC 1994 was about corruption. Which is also a very good reason to kick the bums out (then and now.)

    But I don’t disagree, per se. I can easily picture myself a decade or two from now switching sides again for the same reason. But it will take a long time. Even given a 1994-sized landslide this year, it will be a very long time before the pendulum swings so far the other way.

  71. 71
    SeesThroughIt says:

    In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ‘traditional’ marriage deserve protection.

    Pretty much. Can we get the old Republicans back so that actual discussion about actual important issues is at least possible?

    GOP4Me–your spoofing has come a long way. Keep up the good work!

  72. 72
    Edmund Dantes says:

    Can you point to a single person who said “wait, there’s no need for this Fourth Amendment, the government isn’t going to have the power to search anyone in the first place”?

    Someone never read the federalist papers or the meeting notes from the Constitution Convention. One of the biggest arguments against having the Bill of Rights was the belief that future generations would interpret those as being the only rights reserved to the people. It’s why the safety net of the 9th and 10th amendment were thrown in there.

  73. 73
    Davebo says:

    Mac,

    The USSC didn’t change any law. The precedent that many have claimed was upheld in all lower courts did not match this situation.

    Thep precedent cited referred to a co-owner allowing a search while the other owner was not on the property to protest.

    In this case both owner were on the property at the time of the search and one did protest.

    And no one has offered a precedent allowing the search in this situation.

  74. 74
    srv says:

    John, I don’t know if I can make it, but I’ll try to give Cindy a hug tonight in Berkeley for you.

  75. 75
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Actually, and if anyone really cares, I drink very little.

    I suspect that the reason GOP4ME likes to constantly repeat this little canard is that he bears some sort of resentment towards people of the Irish and/or Roman Catholic persuasions. You know, Irish are drunks, blacks are lazy, WASP’s are cold and imperious, that sort of gibberish.

    But, considering his politics, his addiction to bigotry is hardly surprising.

  76. 76
    Steve says:

    Someone never read the federalist papers or the meeting notes from the Constitution Convention. One of the biggest arguments against having the Bill of Rights was the belief that future generations would interpret those as being the only rights reserved to the people. It’s why the safety net of the 9th and 10th amendment were thrown in there.

    That’s not even close to the point I made, although I understand how it must have been irresistible to jump in and show off your knowledge. Still, you have a better understanding of the Ninth Amendment than Robert Bork does, so I respect you for that.

    The question is not whether the prohibition against “unreasonable searches and seizures” implies that nothing else is prohibited. That would be a silly argument.

    The question is whether the prohibition against “unreasonable searches and seizures” forecloses an argument that the government has no power to conduct searches and seizures at all, because that power is not specifically enumerated.

    I’ll have to look for the cite to Hamilton someone mentioned, but it seems like a pretty good argument to me. After all, the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment suggests the Framers expected the government to be inflicting punishment of some sort. The requirement of trial by jury suggests the Framers expected the government to be holding trials of some sort. And the prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, in my view, suggests the Framers expected the government to be conducting searches and seizures of some sort.

  77. 77
    Andrew says:

    Is anyone else troubled that the Supreme Court seems to justify decisions by analogies appropriate for an 8 year old?

    A birthday? Seriously? You’ve come a long way for a birthday. And so we’re setting Constitutional precedent. Or attempting to, in this case.

  78. 78
    neil says:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s anything in the Constitution about guests to surprise parties. So much for ‘originalism.’

  79. 79
    jayackroyd says:

    They are also not interested in free markets, free trade or anything other than crony capitalism. These guys are interested in nothing other than looting the treasury.

  80. 80
    slickdpdx says:

    All of you who think this upholds the rights of the “no” tenant are ignoring the rights of the “yes” tenant.
    The real problem is that our reaction about the resolution of the dilemma of the conflicting tenants is colored by our views on law enforcement (or, perhaps, the particular law being enforced.) I’d suggest that neither position regarding the dilemma is as outrageous as is made out.

    P.S. The reasoning of the folks above who think the issue is so simple and obvious would lead to strange trespass and theft charges where one owner gives permission and the other does not.

  81. 81
    gratefulcub says:

    you Guinness-chugger

    Obviously it is supposed to be a shot at Paddy, but I don’t get it. Is it one of those red state things, “Guinness drinking liberals”? Real men drink real american beer, Nattie Light, or Bud for special occasions?

  82. 82
    Chris Johnson says:

    It’s great what John says. Very reasonable and practical. Now let’s see what he does before getting all wriggly and happy about it, eh?

  83. 83
    Krista says:

    My 20 year affair with the Republican party is coming to an end.

    John, sweetie, I’m proud of you. Not because of the dem/repub thing, but because it can be very hard to walk away from something that’s been a part of your identity for such a long time.

  84. 84
    Davebo says:

    Now let’s see what he does before getting all wriggly and happy about it, eh?

    Hmm.. Do we draw straws to see who gets to follow him into the voting booth?

    John has always struck me as an honest guy, even if I’ve questioned his intellectual honesty in the past.

  85. 85
    Krista says:

    Now let’s see what he does before getting all wriggly and happy about it, eh?

    LOL. Great visual. I’m now picturing this gang of commenters as a bunch of Lab puppies. :)

  86. 86
    Pb says:

    Steve, jg,

    Yes, it’s Federalist #84:

    I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.

  87. 87
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Given that it appears they are talking about shared space, does that mean the dissenters feel that my room-mates could let them in to search the kitchen, living room, and bathroom but not my bedroom?

  88. 88
    Davebo says:

    For the record folks, John isn’t claiming that he’s joining the DNC and heading out on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton.

    Any casual reader of this blog should know that John has had many concerns about the GOP for a long time.

  89. 89
    Par R says:

    The fact that Mr. Cole appears to somehow link his rejection of the Republican Party to the NYT discussion of Robert’s comments in the SCOTUS decision, is more of a comment on the obvious decline in Mr. Cole’s mental state than anything else. In fact, his connecting the two leads one to question whether he may have descended into drunkeness and/or drugs. It’s been a bit of a marvel to witness Mr. Cole’s pandering to the Left side of the blogosphere over the past year as he strived to get more and more readership for his blog. With each passing month, his willingness to turn aside a previous liftime of beliefs and practices fell away as he sought the greater “glory” of public recognition, however silly and worthless that is given the idiots that largely inhabit this site now. He will, of course, argue that he is not the one that changed, but rather it was his party that changed. Mr. Cole has truly distinguished himself as a rather worthless and silly old fool, which leads one to wonder why on earth the Administration of his school tolerates such an obvious fool on its campus.

  90. 90
    Davebo says:

    LOL. Great visual. I’m now picturing this gang of commenters as a bunch of Lab puppies.

    There are few things on earth cuter than Lab puppies.

    God makes them that way so you’ll be less inclined to kill them after they chew up your linoleum floor.

    On the upside, the wife just loves her new kitchen. And puppy!

  91. 91
    KC says:

    John, I’m shocked but not totally. When I became a Dem two or three years ago, I nearly gave my father a stroke. However, I saw which way the budget was headed, the over expansive executive authority push (at that time it was really the emasculation of the Presidential Records Act by Executive Order that showed me we had some Nixonites running the show), and the increasingly loud shouting from the religous right, and I knew I wasn’t playing the game anymore. This doesn’t mean I don’t vote Republican anymore, I do, just not a lot anymore.

  92. 92
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    grateful cub – Guinness is the Bud/Miller of Ireland and the British countries. And as such is looked down upon by the more effete beer guzzlers over there.

  93. 93
    metalgrid says:


    He will, of course, argue that he is not the one that changed, but rather it was his party that changed.

    Riiiight, because there’s obviously no difference between Barry Goldwater, Ron Reagon and GW Bush. I think the names right there documents the change for the worse rather accurately.

  94. 94
    jg says:

    The cops did strictly follow the law in this case. The USSC just changed the law so that what they did is now deemed to be illegal search.

    Again I’m not talkig about this specific case. In this case you’re right the cops did what they were allowed to do. The issue is that maybe what they were allowed to do wasn’t constitutional.

    That’s not even close to the point I made, although I understand how it must have been irresistible to jump in and show off your knowledge

    True. I wasn’t arguing the point that the Bill Of Rights limits our rights in the minds of future legistators. Although it is a good point. The point I was making is slightly different and I hope I wasn’t misinterpreting what the guy (Hamilton?) wrote. He didn’t put it as clearly as:

    “wait, there’s no need for this Fourth Amendment, the government isn’t going to have the power to search anyone in the first place”

    but I think it was his point.

    If you do come across the writing I’m talking about (or if I do first and link it) don’t hesitate to point out if I was wrong in my interpretation, its very possible.

  95. 95
    Brian says:

    And as usual your point is wrong. The elected officials make law, the courts decide if the law is constitutional.

    I understand how the process works. I also understand when I read comments supporting courts over lawmakers in determining laws deemed too important for the electorate to be trusted with. I see such comments time and again on this site by very well-meaning people.

    Brian, while I pretty much agree with everything you said, I also find it curious how you point only to “the left” and their hatred towards “the religionists”. This thing is a two-way street, “the religionists” are just as guilty as “the left“. They demonize one another at every oportunity, they both use the law to attack the other. In many ways they’re like a mirror reflection of the other. Ironic really.

    Point taken. Not being religious myself, the only skin I have in this game is having to live by laws that the Left or the Religionists may get passed. That said, anything the religious right may be trying to advance is not anyting I can see being embraced by Americans in general, and definitely not anyting that the new SCOTUS justices can advance; they’re not proxies for James Dobson or Phyllis Schlafly.

    The Left, as I define it, is in a much more powerful position, and therefore much more of a threat.

  96. 96
    gratefulcub says:

    Guinness is the Bud/Miller of Ireland and the British countries. And as such is looked down upon by the more effete beer guzzlers over there

    Next you will tell me that i am overpaying for Red Stripe, NewCastle, and Sammy Smith Organic.

  97. 97
    Pb says:

    Brian,

    anything the religious right may be trying to advance is not anyting I can see being embraced by Americans in general, and definitely not anyting that the new SCOTUS justices can advance; they’re not proxies for James Dobson

    Well, let’s hope they aren’t, anyhow.

  98. 98
    jg says:

    I understand how the process works. I also understand when I read comments supporting courts over lawmakers in determining laws deemed too important for the electorate to be trusted with.

    I see a contradiction.

    PB,
    I had just found it and was coming back to post it when I read your post. Too bad I missed it the first time, then again I did find a link to tons of Hamilton writings. That could be dangerous :).

  99. 99
    jg says:

    I you read higher up in Federalist 84 you see his point is also that bills of rights make no sense when the gov’t derives its power from the consent of the governed. A bill of rights is a relic from days of tyrannical gov’ts.

  100. 100
    Mac Buckets says:

    The USSC didn’t change any law. The precedent that many have claimed was upheld in all lower courts did not match this situation.Thep precedent cited referred to a co-owner allowing a search while the other owner was not on the property to protest.

    Regardless of how exact the precedent matched the specifics of this case, the law was changed by the lower court decision. There used to be one legal criterion for permission (getting the permission of someone who lives there), now there is another (getting the permission of everyone who lives there who is present).

    And despite the fact that the details in the cited precedent weren’t exactly the same as in Georgia v Randolph, the precedents did affirm the key tenets: assumption of risk of a search authorized by someone with equal authority in the property and the diminished expectation of privacy in that situation.

    And if the best Souter & Co. can come up with in the face of those two established legal tenets is “I’ve always heard that every man’s home is his castle,” (which if accepted as a real argument rather than a lazy construct will throw all of our legal search policy out the window) that’s just shabby. I expect more from the Supreme Court.

  101. 101
    Football fan says:

    What about if one person’s not home to express their desire not to allow the police in? Are they going to call them? Wait for them to get home?

  102. 102
    Pb says:

    jg,

    A bill of rights is a relic from days of tyrannical gov’ts.

    …which is why I’m glad we have one. The Anti-Federalists were right. :(

  103. 103
    jg says:

    I expect more from the Supreme Court.

    I think its clear what you expect from the Supreme Court.

    Even though I have nothing to hide I don’t want cops to come into my house and start nosing around because they say they have a reason to be suspicious. I certainly don’t want them to have the authority to enter the house I own because my kid said come on in. Its my house I have an expectation of privacy even if I’m not there.

    Do people like Mac think its so far beyond the realm of possibility that a crappy neighbor might call the cops and say you’re running a meth lab because he doesn’t like the way you keep your lawn? In your world the cops can come on in. Why not you aren’t really running a meth lab right? I hope you don’t have any porn since AG Gonsalez has made it clear what is the main focus of his office.

  104. 104
    Pb says:

    And if the best Souter & Co. can come up with in the face of those two established legal tenets is “I’ve always heard that every man’s home is his castle,” (which if accepted as a real argument rather than a lazy construct will throw all of our legal search policy out the window) that’s just shabby. I expect more from the Supreme Court.

    LOL, Mac. Way to be uninformed there. The least you could have done was read my post above explaining the origins and history surrounding that quote. It’s not uncommon, especially in discussions of the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately, I don’t expect more from you.

  105. 105
    D. Mason says:

    The Left, as I define it, is in a much more powerful position, and therefore much more of a threat.

    Possibly, but speaking for myself and my own personal opinion. The agenda of the religionists(who do have a few players in the big game) is far more destructive to the nation as a whole aswell as to my own daily life than the agenda of the far left. Both sides are against free speech so thats a wash to me. Abortion and gay marriage don’t bother me, but the religionists want the government to be the arbiters of morality. To me that is ghastly. While neither is especially appealing, I would much prefer to see men kissing on TV then to have to worry about the cops knocking on my door because I downloaded some porn, call me crazy.

    Despite the presence of the religionists, the right used to get some points from me for their economic responsability, but George Bush fucked that up too.

  106. 106
    jg says:

    Says:

    jg,

    A bill of rights is a relic from days of tyrannical gov’ts.

    …which is why I’m glad we have one. The Anti-Federalists were right. :(

    Thats why I love this country. I’m not against the Bill of Rights, I just understand and partially agree with the arguments against it.

  107. 107
    Mike in SLO says:

    Par R says:

    Mr. Cole has truly distinguished himself as a rather worthless and silly old fool, which leads one to wonder why on earth the Administration of his school tolerates such an obvious fool on its campus.

    They tolerate such an obvious fool on their campus for the same reason Mr. Cole tolerates such an obvious fool as yourself on his site. Unlike you and your ilk (GOP4ME, et al), Mr. Cole and the school’s Administration understand that differing opinions and open discussions lead to greater understanding, better decision-making and a more informed citizenry — things that made this country great. While Mr. cole allows you to spew your spin at will on his site, you and GOP4ME are reduced to name calling: “Obvious fool! Traitor!”. Hey, you know the sky really is falling for you guys!

  108. 108
    jg says:

    The religionists scare me because this country was founded as the first country to delink government and religion and the religionists want to change that.

  109. 109
    Steve says:

    I also understand when I read comments supporting courts over lawmakers in determining laws deemed too important for the electorate to be trusted with.

    The very fact that we have a Bill of Rights implies that there are some laws that are “too important for the electorate to be trusted with.” Now, you can choose to take this as a personal insult, or you can try to understand why the Constitution is set up in this way. The Founding Fathers understood the need for multiple checks and balances against the power of legislative majorities, by which I mean more of a check than “a bad law can always be fixed later by some other majority.”

    The fact that you look at today’s political landscape, Brian, and still see the Left’s agenda as far more dangerous and far more likely to be imposed upon us all is just stunning to me. To some extent, we all play the game of believing that “our” extremists are just harmless kooks, and “their” extremists have oodles of power and are threatening to take over the country any second.

    Now, I have tried to provide some objective evidence regarding which side’s extremists have more power. The fact that Michael Moore’s opposition to invading Afghanistan was echoed by exactly 0 Democrats in the Senate and a total of 1 in the House. The fact that Jerry Falwell gets consulted by the White House on Supreme Court nominations, and that extreme Christian fundamentalists are being appointed to set government policy on what contraceptives you are allowed to buy. You continue to believe, somehow, that the far right will never accomplish anything of significance and that the far left is on the verge of taking over.

    For John Cole and many other conservatives, the Terri Schiavo incident was the wake-up call that said to them, “Hey, wait, these extremists really do have the power to dictate my party’s agenda and I’m not happy about it.” What will be your wake-up call, I wonder?

  110. 110
    Darrell says:

    LOL, Mac. Way to be uninformed there. The least you could have done was read my post above explaining the origins and history surrounding that quote

    There was no reference in your post to “every man’s home is his castle”, much less an explanation as to its origin and history. What the hell are you talking about?

  111. 111
    Pooh says:

    I expect more from the Supreme Court.

    Why? They are just a bunch of activists voting their policy preferences. Or so goes the canard, ignored anytime someone feels the need to heap praise on a Thomas or a Scalia for their fleeting, results-oriented affirmations of ‘originalism’. [/ant-Fed Soc. Snark]

    For me, (and I think for John) it’s not so much that Roberts dissented, good arguments can be advanced on both sides of the issue, it’s the nature of his dissent – the hypothetical danger (Spousal Abuse! Ooga-booga-booga…) which acts as what Scott Lemiux calls a ‘universal solvent’ to individual rights is very troubling. In a way it reminds me of the hunters in South Park – “It’s comin’ right for us!” If the analogy makes sense.

  112. 112
    Joey says:

    I can assert with confidence that they are far less alcoholic than those of Mr. O’Shea- or of anyone else here who ever drinks alcohol, for that matter, since I don’t.

    There aren’t levels of alcholism. You’re either an alcoholic, or you’re not. Kinda like how you’re either an asshole or you’re not. And by implying that Mr. O’Shea is an alcoholic with no basis for that other than his Irish name, you are most definitely an asshole.

  113. 113
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    There was no reference in your post to “every man’s home is his castle”, much less an explanation as to its origin and history. What the hell are you talking about?

    Are you unobservant, or illiterate, or both? Pay attention, man.

  114. 114
    DougJ says:

    Good for you, John. I can only hope that some of the more reasonable Republicans who comment here — I’m looking at you, Mac — will soon follow suit.

    Truth be told, I am bothered much more by the budget deficit and general incompetence of this administration than by what you describe, but at some level the faux conservative policies of the current Republican majority are all of a piece. The Bush administration is nothing more than a less competent, more cynical version of the LBJ administration.

    I see no reason why intelligent Republicans should put up with this sham conservatism. That’s why I left the party in 2003.

  115. 115

    The religionists scare me because this country was founded as the first country to delink government and religion and the religionists want to change that.

    I think they mean well.

    But they are being corrupted by evil men. They are being told lies, and without the benefit of counter arguments they believe those lies because it is all they hear.

  116. 116
    Darrell says:

    Pb, apologies as I checked your prior post, but did not page through all of them

  117. 117
    DougJ says:

    Mr. Cole has truly distinguished himself as a rather worthless and silly old fool, which leads one to wonder why on earth the Administration of his school tolerates such an obvious fool on its campus.

    You’re an asshole, Par.

    I’ve always thought you’re a moron, but I have never openly expressed the opinion that Walmart shouldn’t tolerate such an obvious fool as a stock boy.

  118. 118
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    No problem, now you know. Maybe that link will help Mac find it as well. :)

  119. 119
    Darrell says:

    They are being told lies, and without the benefit of counter arguments they believe those lies because it is all they hear

    Sounds like DKos

  120. 120
    DougJ says:

    I think they mean well.
    But they are being corrupted by evil men. They are being told lies, and without the benefit of counter arguments they believe those lies because it is all they hear.

    I agree. It’s the Dick Cheneys of the world who scare me, not the evangelicals.

  121. 121
    Mac Buckets says:

    LOL, Mac. Way to be uninformed there. The least you could have done was read my post above explaining the origins and history surrounding that quote.

    Don’t flatter your knowledge of trivia, Pb. I didn’t need your post to tell me where the phrase comes from. But that adage is not in the Constitution, nor does it carry any legal weight (nor should vague metaphors), and it is not terribly germane to this case, unless we want to throw out all of our search and seizure laws because of an antiquated, generalized adage.

    But if I’m wrong, at least I can pour boiling oil on the French if they come to my front door.

  122. 122
    Darrell says:

    Now, I have tried to provide some objective evidence regarding which side’s extremists have more power. The fact that Michael Moore’s opposition to invading Afghanistan was echoed by exactly 0 Democrats in the Senate and a total of 1 in the House.

    Yet the left has succeeded in the implementation and maintainence of racist affirmative action laws.. and they are the chief sponsors of the ‘motor voter’ law which in effect sanction illegal immigration.. and the left is who screams the loudest when anyone dares suggest that a valid ID be produced at the voting booth.

    “But Alito wrote Dobson a thank you note!!”

  123. 123
    Davebo says:

    Darrell,

    Do explain how the motor voter law sanctions illegal immigration. Or has anything at all to do with illegal immigration.

    This outta be good.

  124. 124
    Davebo says:

    Why the right is so afraid of a law that simply makes it easier for those who already are legally entitled to register to vote to do so has always amazed me.

  125. 125
    ImJohnGalt says:

    “Now go away, or I shall be forced to taunt you a second time!”

  126. 126
    Darrell says:

    Darrell,

    Do explain how the motor voter law sanctions illegal immigration. Or has anything at all to do with illegal immigration

    Nobody can accuse you of being too bright Davebo. What motor voter did, and does, is allow non-citizens the right to vote without having to show any proof of citizenship.

    Any other questions?

  127. 127
    McNulty says:

    Good for you, John. I can only hope that some of the more reasonable Republicans who comment here—I’m looking at you, Mac—will soon follow suit.

    Once again, why is saying you refuse to vote for a member of a particular party AT ANY LEVEL so admirable?

    Philadelphia’s been under one party rule for sixty years, and last year we averaged a murder a day, had a city treasurer (under the Democratic mayor) sent to prison, a Democratic city councilman was just convicted of numerous things, the mayors convict brother got $300,000 worth of airport contracts despite having no qualifications to do such things, the schools suck, services suck, and had John Street’s own personal Karl Rove not died, Street probably would’ve been indicted for numerous offenses as well.

    So, if i say i’m not voting for a single Democrat AT ANY LEVEL in the next city elections, will i get patted on the back too? I doubt it, and I shouldn’t. Because, what Rick Mariano or Ron White or Milton STreet have done isn’t gonna change the fact that I like Jim Kenney and Babette Joseph’s and Dwight Evans (the state representative, not the ex-Red Sox OF) and that those people, D’s all of them, work their asses off to make this cesspool of a city better.

  128. 128
    jg says:

    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

  129. 129
    Steve says:

    Yet the left has succeeded in the implementation and maintainence of racist affirmative action laws.. and they are the chief sponsors of the ‘motor voter’ law which in effect sanction illegal immigration.. and the left is who screams the loudest when anyone dares suggest that a valid ID be produced at the voting booth.

    I don’t get your point, or maybe you don’t get mine. I never claimed that the left has never accomplished anything in this country; indeed, the modern GOP agenda is largely devoted to rolling back liberal victories from the past.

    The issue is the relative power of the far left and the far right, at this particular moment in time. Affirmative action is debatable, but it certainly isn’t a “far left” issue, nor is it a particularly recent development.

    As for voting requirements, I hardly see the point in putting such things on a left-right spectrum, as both parties base their positions 100% on self-interest. If ID requirements will have the effect of depressing the minority vote, the Republican Party will support them and the Democratic Party will oppose them. It has zero to do with ideology.

  130. 130
    Flint says:

    Amen John…

    The Constitution and the Bill of Rights define us as a nation, as do the laws derived from them. The checks and balances of our system, the separation of powers, are what keeps us free… not any given political party and certainly not a single President:

    James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, No. 47, that:

    “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

    Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense:

    “In America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”

  131. 131
    Perry Como says:

    Part of being a good conservative is having an inherent trust of government. Clearly if your 8 year old invites the police in and you say no, the police should be able to enter your house and search it. After all, if you have nothing to hide, why should you care?

    Search warrants are pre-9/11 thinking.

  132. 132
    jg says:

    Steve, honestly, why? Why try to reason with someone who ain’t listening? I’d rather you spend time explaining to me if I correctly interpreted what Hamilton wrote. :)

  133. 133
    jg says:

    Part of being a good conservative is having an inherent trust of government.

    One of your best Perry. DougJ has taught you well young padawan.

  134. 134
    Darrell says:

    I don’t get your point, or maybe you don’t get mine.

    Maybe so. I’ve provided several examples of leftist “victories” as you put it, if race-based admissions to universities and jobs can be considered victories.

    What I would like to see is examples of ‘far right’ influence in the govt in terms of harmful policies which have been implemented

  135. 135
    Al Maviva says:

    The idea that if there is an allegation of domestic violence, that police can barge right in, is absolutely incorrect. There are exceptions allowing warrantless entry & search, such as when the assault is ongoing, but they are exceptions, various elements must be met, and it’s not certain that an exception is available in any given circumstance. So a cop faced with that domestic abuse allegation and a refusing spouse will face a tough decision of letting angry spouse shut the door in his face until a warrant can be obtained, or gambling on the availability of various exceptions that would permit entry. I know it’s Let’s Hate Republicans Day for some people, but I don’t see this question as entirely trivial – if that makes me a right wing fascist, so be it.

    The practical effect of the ever growing list of exceptions is also a problem for people outside of the courts. A cop charging up a stairwell in a crap apartment building to get to the site of a garbled 9/11 call has about 5 seconds, if he or she is lucky, to apply Randolph (and countervailing and apparently still good Graf) case to the dynamic situation at hand. Justice Souter, in contrast, can mull it over for six months in a comfy chair in his nice old house in New Hampshire, shrug, and say, “I’ve decided that various warrantless exceptions were (or weren’t) available.” Then we all scream about the poor victim the callous cops let get hurt, or the callous cops trampling the innocent tenant’s rights. Roberts’ objection isn’t as strong as he makes it out to be, but it’s fair, and Souter acts as if it is disingenuous to raise it. We’ll see.

    This decision should lead to some interesting situations. I’ll go out on a low, safe ledge and predict that Randolph will spawn some wonderful satellite litigation.

  136. 136
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    that adage is not in the Constitution, nor does it carry any legal weight

    Actually, it does carry legal weight, as does all historical precedent germane to The Constitution–that’s why the Supreme Court talks about it.

    unless we want to throw out all of our search and seizure laws because of an antiquated, generalized adage

    Apparently that’s the new argument these days–old law is bad law. If FISA is obsolete because it was enacted in 1978 (never remind that it had since been revised), then the Constitution must be ten times more obsolete, and protection against search and seizure even more so, to say nothing of habeas corpus (1305?! Ancient history!)!

    But, oddly enough, courts tend to take the opposite approach–that settled law (“historical precedent”) is good law, and therefore, there must be a really good reason to justify ignoring or overturning it. And, no, this is not because of just an ‘adage’ per se, but rather, also what the adage obviously refers to, which I previously outlined.

    But if I’m wrong, at least I can pour boiling oil on the French if they come to my front door.

    I’m with you there! While you’re at it, don’t let them quarter any troops in your house…

  137. 137
    Steve says:

    I thought I said something about the Hamilton quote above. Maybe I got too bogged down in responding to other stuff.

    They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government.

    I’d basically say the score stands at Hamilton 1, Steve 0, since he completely anticipated the argument I made earlier. I guess it goes without saying that the Founding Fathers envisioned a far, far more limited government than what we have today.

    Incidentally, I walk by Hamilton’s grave every day on the way to work.

  138. 138
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    You’ve got me there–I’m also against any legislation that would effectively be an illegal poll tax. And in general, although I am in support of measures that would curb election fraud, I still think we need to be doing it with an eye to making voting easier for people, not harder.

  139. 139
    Mac Buckets says:

    For me, (and I think for John) it’s not so much that Roberts dissented, good arguments can be advanced on both sides of the issue, it’s the nature of his dissent – the hypothetical danger

    First, I don’t know that we know the “nature” of his opinion, as I don’t even know if it’s been published yet. I’ve only been able to find scant clippings (I’ll take a link if anyone has it!). I, conversely, read the nature of his dissent to be: The Majority hasn’t shown the slightest bit of legal reasoning required to change the established criterion for a legal search. I think Roberts’ main beef is with the flimsy “social customs” argument (and I only call it an argument because I can’t think of a weaker word).

    Again, this is a tiny case not worth getting upset about (although the confessed rapist who was let off on similar grounds in Connecticut recently is a bit upsetting). I just would’ve liked to have seen some real legal reasoning on Souter’s behalf, rather than just his personal opinion couched in vague adages and ramblings about unwritten “customs.” His opinion might be more robust in full — I certainly hope so.

  140. 140
    Steve says:

    What I would like to see is examples of ‘far right’ influence in the govt in terms of harmful policies which have been implemented

    Terri Schiavo. Denial of access to Plan B. Why are you asking me to repeat the same things I already said?

    Your best example of a “far left” victory is something that isn’t even far left, and it’s from 45 years ago!

  141. 141
    Krista says:

    Darrell, I have to ask; where have you been?

    This blog’s too big without you. We’ve had to make do with Brian, and Godzilla, and scs, and it’s really just not the same. Where the hell is Stormy, anyway? Did she tire of us, or did Naveen Andrews come to take her away from all this?

  142. 142
    Darrell says:

    Terri Schiavo.

    What about Terri Schiavo? No change of law took place.. her legal spouse was permitted to let her starve to death over the objections of her parents. You’ve got a real shining example with that one Steve.

    Denial of access to Plan B.

    Tell us, what “denials” of Plan B are such horrific overreaches to warrent you listing this in your top 2 worst examples of right-wing policies run amok?

  143. 143
    Pharniel says:

    Mac Buckets; isn’t there a founding fathers quote somewhere, something about “better to let 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man in jail”

    something to that effect.

    y’know. old school jurisprudence.

  144. 144
    jg says:

    Incidentally, I walk by Hamilton’s grave every day on the way to work

    Oh Lord, please tell me I’m not standing side by side with a Yankees fan.

    No change of law took place

    Really? I seem to recall Bush flying to work from vacation to sign something.

  145. 145
    scs says:

    We’ve had to make do with Brian, and Godzilla, and scs, and it’s really just not the same

    Yes I know my writings don’t even come close to your insightful analysis, and for that I apologize.

  146. 146
    jg says:

    Again, this is a tiny case not worth getting upset about

    Exactly. Its a tiny liitle insignificant thing. Let our betters worry about it, lets all just go back to sleep. No need to keep an eye on these people, no chance this little issue will ever grow. The important issues are the statues with exposed breasts.

  147. 147
    scs says:

    I think John is overreacting. The guy starts a blog and writes everyday for years on how he is a Republican and had been a Republican for 20 years, and then all of a sudden acts surprised that the Republican party is full of about, I’m guessing here, 20% strongly religious people here, in addition to the larger group of social moderates. Where has he been the last 20 years?

    His reasons, that religious people want to push for religion is not new, and that the Republicans support state security strongly over individual rights is not new. So why the change now? I hope it is not the Iraq war, which he supported from the beginning, knowing full well the risks of success and failure that were taken when we went in there.

    I don’t begrudge someone changing his mind, but I feel the change should be for good reasons, otherwise the person risks looking shallow and like a person who just follows what his liberal campus buddies do because he is tired of swimming against the tide and wants to support the local political team sport.

  148. 148
    ppGaz says:

    I don’t begrudge someone changing his mind

    You’d just like to know how in the world they do it?

  149. 149
    Mac Buckets says:

    Actually, it does carry legal weight, as does all historical precedent germane to The Constitution—that’s why the Supreme Court talks about it.

    Even accepting that ridiculous premise for a moment, that old saying is not in any way, shape or form “historical precedent germane to the Constitution.” Please cite something to back you up here. P.S. We aren’t still ruled by Magna Carta, either.

    Souter mentions the old adage because he can’t think of anything of US legal significance to say, IMHO. He certainly never even claims that a remark by an English judge 400 years ago reflects any sort of established legal precedent in the US. Need I cite real US law, like eminent domain, or sodomy laws, or drug laws, or other search laws that would eliminate any sort of notion that “a man’s home is his castle?”

  150. 150
    ImJohnGalt says:

    and that the Republicans support state security strongly over individual rights is not new

    This has to be from someone who started following the team within the last 5 years.

  151. 151
    Mac Buckets says:

    isn’t there a founding fathers quote somewhere, something about “better to let 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man in jail”

    I thought that was OJ.

  152. 152
    Rome Again says:

    If the owner of the house consents to the search its legal IMO. If there are two owners they have to both consent if they are both there.

    I agree, even if I’m not home, my stuff is still in my residence, and I didn’t give consent for it to be searched.

    Remind me to move everything I own into one room and put a padlock on the door(with on key around my neck) when I’m not there. That way my spouse can have his belongings searched and mine protected.

    I highly doubt my spouse would ever agree to a search even if I was there though, he doesn’t trust government in the least, and rightly so.

    John, I was waiting for so long for you to finally say “I’ve had it”, you inched closer to it so slowly toward that point that I knew it was coming one day; unfortunately, I’ve also had it with my recently realized former party of spineless Dems, so I get no satisfaction out of it now. Just wanted you to know. If anything, I’m really sad that neither of us has much in the way of real leaders to look up to.

    Where do we go from here? Are we still on opposite sides or can we find a place in the middle to plant ourselves and call Common Ground while we wait for our respective leaders to come to their senses?

  153. 153
    scs says:

    and that the Republicans support state security strongly over individual rights is not new

    Why? Republicans were always the “law and order” party.

  154. 154
    Steve says:

    What about Terri Schiavo? No change of law took place..

    Sigh.

    AN ACT

    For the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SECTION 1. RELIEF OF THE PARENTS OF THERESA MARIE SCHIAVO.

    The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida shall have jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.

    SEC. 2. PROCEDURE.

    Any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo shall have standing to bring a suit under this Act. The suit may be brought against any other person who was a party to State court proceedings relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain the life of Theresa Marie Schiavo, or who may act pursuant to a State court order authorizing or directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life. In such a suit, the District Court shall determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings. The District Court shall entertain and determine the suit without any delay or abstention in favor of State court proceedings, and regardless of whether remedies available in the State courts have been exhausted.

    SEC. 3. RELIEF.

    After a determination of the merits of a suit brought under this Act, the District Court shall issue such declaratory and injunctive relief as may be necessary to protect the rights of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution and laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.

    SEC. 4. TIME FOR FILING.

    Notwithstanding any other time limitation, any suit or claim under this Act shall be timely if filed within 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

    SEC. 5. NO CHANGE OF SUBSTANTIVE RIGHTS.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create substantive rights not otherwise secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the several States.

    SEC. 6. NO EFFECT ON ASSISTING SUICIDE.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to confer additional jurisdiction on any court to consider any claim related–

    (1) to assisting suicide, or
    (2) a State law regarding assisting suicide.

    SEC. 7. NO PRECEDENT FOR FUTURE LEGISLATION.

    Nothing in this Act shall constitute a precedent with respect to future legislation, including the provision of private relief bills.

    SEC. 8. NO AFFECT ON THE PATIENT SELF-DETERMINATION ACT OF 1990.

    Nothing in this Act shall affect the rights of any person under the Patient Self- Determination Act of 1990.

    SEC. 9. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

    It is the Sense of Congress that the 109th Congress should consider policies regarding the status and legal rights of incapacitated individuals who are incapable of making decisions concerning the provision, withholding, or withdrawal of foods, fluid, or medical care.

    Maybe I imagined Congress holding an emergency session to pass this bill. Maybe I imagined President Bush flying back from Texas to sign it at 1 in the morning. Maybe it was all just a dream.

    I can’t go on like this, as I’m going to waste my whole day on this argument if you won’t even stipulate to the most basic and indisputable facts, like the fact that the law was changed to permit federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case.

  155. 155
    ppGaz says:

    Mac Buckets; isn’t there a founding fathers quote somewhere, something about “better to let 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man in jail”

    I once asked a judge I knew how you could get justice from an imperfect system?

    His answer: You just have to decide whether it’s better to have an innocent man in jail, or a guilty man free. Once you know the answer to that, you can solve the problem.

    The problem gets a little more interesting when you substitute “condemmed to death” for “in jail.”

    To make the exercise as realistic as possible, make yourself the innocent person in the question.

    Which is worse, being innocent and condemmed to death, or having a guilty man go free?

    Based on your answer to the latter, then go ahead and tell us your views on capital punishment.

  156. 156
    ImJohnGalt says:

    That would be, United States vs. Arthur, King, Mac. Clearly established that Arthur’s home was indeed, his castle.

  157. 157
    Rome Again says:

    …and then all of a sudden acts surprised that the Republican party is full of…

    All of a sudden? I’ve been watching this transformation for about a year now, what do you mean “all of a sudden”?

  158. 158
    Steve says:

    that the Republicans support state security strongly over individual rights is not new

    There is one major party that has historically stuck up for your right to own a gun in case the government’s jackbooted thugs show up to invade your rights in the name of “state security,” and that party sure wasn’t the Democrats!

  159. 159
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Read, as they say, the whole thing.
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/.....4-1067.pdf

    The holding, as laid out here, seem to make clear that 1 said yes one said no and thus, as both had an equal expectation of protection under the fourth, the ultimate answer had to be no. It was not the case that all previous courts approved the search.

    There is nothing dramatic or new in the opinion. The Roberts’ dissent, which I cannot find, seeks to weaken the right of a present property holder to protect his or her property from unreasonable search and possible seizure.

    What on earth is therefore puzzling about Mr. Cole’s unhappiness with the most recent “conservative” Supreme? Why would anyone, or any good American in any event, shout hip hip hurray for a justice who seeks to weaken our protection from the state? The ultimate issue is not that a coke head went free but rather that the court upheld a principle of personal freedom from illegal and, quite literally, unwarranted search by state officers.

  160. 160
    Pooh says:

    Mac,

    Here is the synopsis with links to each of the opinions.

    Again, I think Roberts does a poor job dealing with the difference between consent in the absence of the co-tenant and consent over the objection of the co-tenant. Many of the cases he cites arguably deal with situations in which the consentor had, at least temporarily, sole control of the information or premisis. (Additionally, I think the analogy to information given ‘in confidence’ is a bad analogy to begin with because of the non-rivalrous nature of information.)

    To make a comparison to another body of law which has been in the news, it seems comparable to the distinction between Youngstown category II and III cases.

  161. 161
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Misspoke all the opinions seem to be at the link.

  162. 162
    Mac Buckets says:

    I don’t begrudge someone changing his mind, but I feel the change should be for good reasons,

    Yes, everyone should vote against all Republican Congresspeople because 3 USSC Justices (not Republican Congresspeople) wanted to uphold the decision of “every lower federal court to have considered the issue, as well as most state courts.”

    This makes perfect sense to John today, but we are only a week away from April Fool’s Day.

    I sense he is DougJ’ing here, due to his absense from the board since his post. He’s having you leftians on.

  163. 163
    jg says:

    I warned ya Steve.

    Steve, honestly, why? Why try to reason with someone who ain’t listening?

    I don’t begrudge someone changing his mind, but I feel the change should be for good reasons,

    So scs, how do you fell about ‘I voted for it before I voted against it’? He changed his mind. Do you feel he had good reason to? Do you know the reason?

  164. 164
    Darrell says:

    Ok Steve, Repubs passed a one-off bill which changed jurisdiction of the Schiavo case with no other long lasting effects. Although politically driven I agree, that is your crown jewel example of right-wing policy abuse?? Wow

  165. 165
    Rome Again says:

    There is one major party that has historically stuck up for your right to own a gun in case the government’s jackbooted thugs show up to invade your rights in the name of “state security,” and that party sure wasn’t the Democrats!

    Yeah, that makes sense, I’m sure you think shooting a member of law enforcement will get you nary a night in the slammer too, right?

    You’d end up on death row (or life in prison without parole if you’re really lucky), how would that accomplish anything?

  166. 166
    Pooh says:

    Mac, if I can speak for John, (forgive me sir) the fact that Roberts is arguably revealing himself to be more “statist” than “conservative” is simply the last straw upon the back of a camel broken by…well, I think any consistent reader of this blog can document JC’s dissatisfaction with the GOP.

  167. 167
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Pooh,
    He doesn’t just do a poor job, he ignores the fact that nearly all of his examples are searches that took place without verbal objection but in cases were they might have. As they say, if Grandma had wheels she’d a been a bus.

  168. 168
    Steve says:

    Yeah, that makes sense, I’m sure you think shooting a member of law enforcement will get you nary a night in the slammer too, right?

    You’d end up on death row (or life in prison without parole if you’re really lucky), how would that accomplish anything?

    I don’t understand your point at all. I was just pointing out how silly it was to say that the Republicans have always been about the primacy of “state security” over individual rights. I didn’t tell anyone to go shoot the U.S. Marshal.

  169. 169
    scs says:

    Funny, but I have a little real life experience with the roommate-search issue. A few years ago, when I was in college, I had a random male college student sublease a room in my house for the summer to help pay rent before I moved out in fall. He seemed fine at first but then I started to be convinced the guy was serial killer for various reasons. He had bloody gruesome pictures posted on his wall, and pictures of skeletons which he said he took himself, he had super large hunting knives lying on the dining room tables, pistols lying around, porn pictures lying around which he framed with the frame he took from my pictures in the living room, I heard he had a collection of snuff material, called the police to try to film crime victims, made extremely violent “jokes” to me, etc, you name it.

    Then sure enough there was a gruesome, apparently random, murder of a female student in her apartment. Against the advice of my friends I called the police to tell them about my nutty roommate. Contrary to what my friends said, they didn’t laugh at all and listened to me and asked if they could come over sometime to look at the my house and I told them sure. Of course they never followed up, so I didn’t have to deal with this issue. But I think it’s funny that the supreme court can tell me now that I can’t invite whomever the hell I please into my house whenever I want to now. No, the “conservative” position on this ruling doesn’t bother me at all, and I’m glad Roberts took it.

  170. 170
    Rome Again says:

    Why? Republicans were always the “law and order” party.

    They aren’t now. Witness Cunningham, DeLay, Abramoff, Scooter Libby, and those are just in the last few months, need I go on?

  171. 171
    Darrell says:

    Let’s see, JohnC’s last straw was a SCOTUS ruling which he admits he likely misunderstood.

    Meanwhile in Vermont a child rapist was given 60 days by a judge who doesn’t believe punishment solves anything.

    “The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It just corrodes your soul,” said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom.

    Sorry, but that has liberal Democrat written all over it

  172. 172
    Steve says:

    Ok Steve, Repubs passed a one-off bill which changed jurisdiction of the Schiavo case with no other long lasting effects. Although politically driven I agree, that is your crown jewel example of right-wing policy abuse?? Wow

    I had to work this hard just to convince you that a law actually got passed. I’m certainly not going to waste any more time trying to persuade you that it was a scary acknowledgment of the far right’s power over the Republican Party.

    Let’s not forget, your best examples of scary, extremist left-wing positions that no rational person holds were (1) support for affirmative action; (2) letting people vote without a driver’s license.

  173. 173
    Rome Again says:

    I don’t understand your point at all. I was just pointing out how silly it was to say that the Republicans have always been about the primacy of “state security” over individual rights. I didn’t tell anyone to go shoot the U.S. Marshal.

    Oh come now, you presented it as an alternative, and you know it. Isn’t that the reason you hyped up the Republican support of such an idea and stated the Democrats weren’t the party willing to allow you that alternative?

  174. 174
    don surber says:

    Um, yea, Souter’s protecting my home. (cough) Kelo (cough)

  175. 175
    Brian says:

    This blog’s too big without you. We’ve had to make do with Brian, and Godzilla, and scs, and it’s really just not the same.

    I’ll take this as a compliment. The conservative commenters here are only trying to clean up this little puddle of toxic waste that you bathe in.

  176. 176
    Pooh says:

    But I think it’s funny that the supreme court can tell me now that I can’t invite whomever the hell I please into my house whenever I want to now. No, the “conservative” position on this ruling doesn’t bother me at all, and I’m glad Roberts took it.

    The facts, they just bounce off. No. NO. no NO! That’s not what it says AT ALL.

    Did creepy guy have equal claim to the space by merely renting a room? (probably not)

    Even that said, could you let the police in to your apartment absent his presence? Of course.

    Even BEFORE this decision could you let the police in to his room? Categorically no.

  177. 177
    Modulator says:

    The Republican Way

    John Cole’s description is pretty accurate:The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods, and the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistrib…

  178. 178
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SSC,
    You err in your interpretation of what the new rule is. Once you rent the property out you lose some of your property rights over the rented property. You cannot thus give away your renter’s right to privacy (Scalia makes this point in his dissent). In this case the rule is if co-equal owners of property both present and the police need permission to search, the premission needs to come from both.

  179. 179
    Darrell says:

    Let’s not forget, your best examples of scary, extremist left-wing positions that no rational person holds were (1) support for affirmative action; (2) letting people vote without a driver’s license.

    Then there’s #
    (3)

  180. 180
    Steve says:

    Then sure enough there was a gruesome, apparently random, murder of a female student in her apartment. Against the advice of my friends I called the police to tell them about my nutty roommate. Contrary to what my friends said, they didn’t laugh at all and listened to me and asked if they could come over sometime to look at the my house and I told them sure. Of course they never followed up, so I didn’t have to deal with this issue. But I think it’s funny that the supreme court can tell me now that I can’t invite whomever the hell I please into my house whenever I want to now.

    There’s actually quite a bit of case law on situations like you describe, which is really nothing like the case the Supreme Court just decided. My recollection of the law is that, if you simply rent out a room in your house, the tenant has a very limited expectation of privacy and you can give permission for the police to search it. But if you were to rent him, let’s say, the sub-basement that has a separate locked entrance, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can give the police permission to go in. Heck, as you may already know, even the landlord himself doesn’t necessarily have the legal right to stroll into a tenant’s apartment any time he feels like it.

  181. 181
    scs says:

    Even that said, could you let the police in to your apartment absent his presence? Of course.

    Even BEFORE this decision could you let the police in to his room? Categorically no.

    So the rule makes a difference between his room and the common areas of the apartment?

  182. 182
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Don Surber
    The issue you seek to conflate are not the same and, indeed, have nothing whatsoever to do with one another.

  183. 183
    metalgrid says:


    There is one major party that has historically stuck up for your right to own a gun in case the government’s jackbooted thugs show up to invade your rights in the name of “state security,” and that party sure wasn’t the Democrats!

    Indeed. But I finally came to the realization that the gun won’t help me much when the police raid the wrong house and shoot me for having a gun in my hand when I thought I heard people breaking and entering my house. Boosting the power of the executive to the point where it’s able to make such mistakes and get away with it puts one in a decidedly uncomfortable situation between chosing the rock or the hard place.

  184. 184
    Steve says:

    Then there’s #(3)

    Your link is broken, Darrell. It somehow omits the part showing that those people have any political power in the Democratic Party whatsoever, which is the entire point of our discussion.

    The religious nuts who believed Terri Schiavo would get out of that bed and walk any second now had the power to convene an emergency session of Congress over the weekend and to get the President to fly back to Washington in the middle of the night to sign a bill. When the Democratic Party holds a special legislative session to pass the “fragging your officers” bill I’ll concede the point.

  185. 185
    Darrell says:

    Even BEFORE this decision could you let the police in to his room? Categorically no.

    Sincere question – really? Prior to this decision, the owner of a house subletting a room categoricaly did not have the right to let police legally enter the room of the tenant?

  186. 186
    t. jasper parnell says:

    A quote to clear up confusion:

    Held: In the circumstances here at issue, a physically present co-occupant’s stated refusal to permit entry renders warrantless entry and search unreasonable and invalid as to him. http://www.supremecourtus.gov/.....4-1067.pdf

  187. 187
    jg says:

    Repubs passed a one-off bill which changed jurisdiction of the Schiavo case with no other long lasting effects. Although politically driven I agree, that is your crown jewel example of right-wing policy abuse?? Wow

    We argue back and forth about which party has the dumbest social agenda meanwhile the repubs actual plan is going along smoothly as they pull the econmic rug out from under us. Taxes are only being paid by people who earn a paycheck, the treasury is being raided by Bush’s cronies, debt is growing so fast you’d think a highschool dropout had access to our nations Visa card, Muffy and Todd can inherit tax free. But lets keep arguing about affirmative action and toothless Schiavo laws.

  188. 188
    scs says:

    My recollection of the law is that, if you simply rent out a room in your house, the tenant has a very limited expectation of privacy and you can give permission for the police to search it.

    Okay that kind of answers my questions above. In this case, I was renting as well, so we were kind of co-equal renters. I just got him for my landlord. I wonder what situation that fits in. Since we were equal, it’s kind of seems similar to me to a husband and wife who are also equal.

  189. 189
    Darrell says:

    Your link is broken, Darrell.

    You need a new network connection. The link works fine

  190. 190
    Steve says:

    Oh come now, you presented it as an alternative, and you know it. Isn’t that the reason you hyped up the Republican support of such an idea and stated the Democrats weren’t the party willing to allow you that alternative?

    I really don’t follow you here. My only point was that you cannot reconcile the two claims that (1) putting “state security” ahead of individual rights is a traditional Republican position, and (2) the gun nuts have always voted Republican.

  191. 191
    Darrell says:

    Taxes are only being paid by people who earn a paycheck, the treasury is being raided by Bush’s cronies

    I love it… and this passes for deep thought on the left

  192. 192
    Steve says:

    You need a new network connection. The link works fine

    Keep reading. The link is not literally broken, it just has no relationship whatsoever to the issue we’re discussing.

    If you want to make it about which party has more looney tunes, you’ll have to argue that with yourself. The more relevant point is which party gives the looney tunes the actual power to pass laws and give input on Supreme Court Justices.

  193. 193
    scs says:

    Held: In the circumstances here at issue, a physically present co-occupant’s stated refusal to permit entry renders warrantless entry and search unreasonable and invalid as to him.

    Okay see, that changes it a little bit when the co-occupant is present and objects, but not a lot. As a resident of a house, I am allowed to invite anyone in I choose. If my roommate doesn’t like it, he can leave the house or move out. Same with the police I think.

  194. 194
    jg says:

    There is one major party that has historically stuck up for your right to own a gun in case the government’s jackbooted thugs show up to invade your rights in the name of “state security,”

    I got a question. Is it clear that when the second amendment states ‘the people’, as in the right of the people to bear arms, that it refers to individual persons? Forgive me for not having a source on this but I once read an argument that the 10th amendment implies that ‘the people’ is actually referring to local gov’t, hence local police can carry guns.
    Thoughts?

  195. 195
    t. jasper parnell says:

    As property law developed, individuals who previously could not authorize a search might become able to do so, and those who once could grant such consent might no longer have that power. But changes in the law of property to which the Fourth Amendment referred would not alter the Amendment’s meaning: that anyone capable of authorizing a search by a private party could consent to a warrantless search by the police. (Scalia’s dissent)
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/.....4-1067.pdf

    There is some sort of a analogy to property rights being bundles of sticks, changed and changing legal rules about who owns what and when have limited access to and control over property. Generally speaking, renters are now held to have the rights of property owners while they rent, therefore, landlords cannot authorize third party access absent consent nor can they unannounced enter themselves.

  196. 196
    Pooh says:

    So the rule makes a difference between his room and the common areas of the apartment?

    No, this rule makes a distinction between when the co-tenant says nothing at all (or are not present) and when they say ‘no’.

    Your situation (and I may have misinterpreted the facts of the living arrangement, so I’m less sure) was that you can only give permission to areas to which you have legitimate access. Your cotenants private room? Maybe, maybe not. Does it have a lock? A clear example would be if your co-tenant had a locked footlocker which he has not given you permission to open – you cannot give the cops permission to search the footlocker. Equally clearly, if you actually shared a bedroom, and he wasn’t there you could grant the cops entry.

  197. 197
    jg says:

    I love it… and this passes for deep thought on the left

    Boy did you ever miss the point of that post. But then that was expected.

  198. 198
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    You can invite the police in but cannot give them access to a roommate’s or renter’s private space.

  199. 199
    scs says:

    SCS,
    You can invite the police in but cannot give them access to a roommate’s or renter’s private space.

    Okay, then why couldn’t the wife invite the police into the common areas of the house then?

  200. 200
    Darrell says:

    The more relevant point is which party gives the looney tunes the actual power to pass laws and give input on Supreme Court Justices

    I seem to recall Michael Moore being given a personal one-on-one reception with former Pres Jimmah Carter, a private showing of F911 with Dem senators and chairman of the DNC, as well as VIP seating in the presidential booth during the DNC convention. The Dems embrace the far left no matter how much you deny it

  201. 201
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Even accepting that ridiculous premise for a moment, that old saying

    …and the body of law that it obviously references, as I previously stipulated…

    is not in any way, shape or form “historical precedent germane to the Constitution.”

    Yes it is.

    Please cite something to back you up here.

    I already did: it’s part of the foundation of the Fourth Amendment, and it is recognized by the Supreme Court as such. Period. Paragraph.

  202. 202
    Al Maviva says:

    It’s interesting that everybody is talking about this case like it’s some exposition of timeless constitutional principles, eternally constant human rights or whatever.

    If I had to play realist for just a minute, I’d guess that it has a lot more to do with the fact that the stoner’s *estranged wife* (that term is used a couple times) invited the cops in over his objections. The reason I think this is going to spawn a lot of sattelite litigation is that everybody is going to take the case as an exposition of timeless constitutional principle, litigate on that basis, and then I believe the court is going to see a case involving a non-grudge-bearing roommate who isn’t an estranged wife coupled to a truly odious defendant, and then make an exception to the exception which is large enough to swallow Randolph whole and reinvigorate Graf. I could be wrong and Randolph could be the start of a whole new privacy-respecting jurisprudence by the Court, but somehow I don’t think so, and believe instead it’s just another substitution of the judge’s policy preference for another judge’s policy preference. Where it comes to restraining the behavior of cops, bright line rules are best for us, and best for the cops. The crazier you make the patchwork of 4-8th Amendment law, the harder it is for them to comply, and generally the fewer are our protections. Exceptions here almost inevitably swallow the rules whole or create a chaotic ruleset that is very hard to comply with. See, e.g. searches incident to arrest in Mincey, Chimel, and Belton and Chadwick, but then see the exception that swallows the rule whole, Buie.

  203. 203
    Steve says:

    I got a question. Is it clear that when the second amendment states ‘the people’, as in the right of the people to bear arms, that it refers to individual persons? Forgive me for not having a source on this but I once read an argument that the 10th amendment implies that ‘the people’ is actually referring to local gov’t, hence local police can carry guns.

    I think that is kind of THE legal question in regards to the Second Amendment… does it confer an individual right, or just a collective one?

    I don’t think the answer is obvious, as smart people still debate it. But my general sense is that the “individual right” folks have the better side of the argument.

  204. 204
    Pooh says:

    Okay, then why couldn’t the wife invite the police into the common areas of the house then?

    Because he was there and said no. Not the same situation as if he was not there at all, or simply said nothing.

  205. 205
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    I seem to recall Michael Moore sitting in the press section during the RNC convention. The Republicans embrace the far left no matter how much you deny it?

    Well, maybe not, but it was amusing nonetheless… :)

  206. 206
    Steve says:

    I seem to recall Michael Moore being given a personal one-on-one reception with former Pres Jimmah Carter, a private showing of F911 with Dem senators and chairman of the DNC, as well as VIP seating in the presidential booth during the DNC convention. The Dems embrace the far left no matter how much you deny it

    I think the fact that this is the best you can do says a lot. When the Democratic Congress meets in emergency session to pass some extremist Michael Moore law, and the Democratic President flies back to Washington in the middle of the night to sign it, I’ll concede the point. Giving him a plum seat at the convention, not really in the same ballpark.

  207. 207
    Pooh says:

    Al, I admit, I did find it odd that ‘estranged’ was even worthy of mention. Either she had legitimate rights to grant entry to the house or she didn’t. If she didn’t, the case doesn’t even make it to the jury in the first place…

  208. 208
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Al Maviva,
    What is complicated about a rule that say if both occupants are present both need to consent? How is this a policy and not a legal principle? Co-equal owners have co-equal rights and thus neither one can trump the others, estranged, coke-head (not stoner), or other. This seems to me to be a clear line.

  209. 209
    Steve says:

    Steve Says:

    Personally, I think this was a rather hair-splitting decision. One of the ways the courts help enforce the Constitution and the laws is by giving the police very clear, bright-line rules to work with. Given all the factual nuances present in this particular case, I’m not sure the Court succeeded in that goal.

    Al Maviva Says:

    Where it comes to restraining the behavior of cops, bright line rules are best for us, and best for the cops. The crazier you make the patchwork of 4-8th Amendment law, the harder it is for them to comply, and generally the fewer are our protections. Exceptions here almost inevitably swallow the rules whole or create a chaotic ruleset that is very hard to comply with.

    When Al and I agree, I tend to think the legal point is pretty much settled.

  210. 210
    scs says:

    Because he was there and said no. Not the same situation as if he was not there at all, or simply said nothing.

    Hmmmm. Well this is close one I guess. My view is that common ownership gives each owner the ability to act, not the co-owner the right to veto. For instance, if a married couple owned a boat, and the wife wanted to lend out the boat to her sister for the weekend, then she would be legally allowed to do it. I would think the husband has no legal right to stop her. I would think the same applies to a house- at least the common areas of a house. Perhaps there was a stronger argument to be made for him for his “private” areas, such as a locked trunk of his or his “diary”, but def not the common areas. I just don’t think someone has a veto over equal rights.

  211. 211
    jg says:

    I don’t think the answer is obvious, as smart people still debate it. But my general sense is that the “individual right” folks have the better side of the argument.

    Good. Thats the side I fall on. I like guns, have no problems with responsible gun ownership.

  212. 212
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Al Maviva,
    You are in error about the number of times estranged appeared, at least as the use of the search function finds it. It showed up once in the statement of sylabus.

  213. 213
    Rome Again says:

    I really don’t follow you here. My only point was that you cannot reconcile the two claims that (1) putting “state security” ahead of individual rights is a traditional Republican position, and (2) the gun nuts have always voted Republican.

    I stand corrected, you should have said it that way the first time. Deep apologies, and furthermore, I agree. They have always been gun nuts, only recently have they seen fit to hide behind a government that they used to say they didn’t trust. It gets confusing having “state security” Republicans and “individual freedoms” Republicans, I never realized this exactly I guess. I’ve always understood Republicans to be pro-NRA militia types prior to now, and I was under the impression that those statists still harbored a love for the gun (“as long as I’m not doing anything wrong, it’s okay with me if the government…”) get my drift?

  214. 214
    Remfin says:

    I don’t know if anyone has pointed it out yet but these cases are NEVER about the individual’s 4th Amendment rights. These cases are always “should this evidence be excluded because law enforcement improperly acted and violated this person’s 4th Amendment rights?”. Which is why this case, and the example cases in Roberts’ decision, etc etc all are a bit different

    I’m sure it doesn’t happen nearly as often as Hollywood plays it, but things like calling in fake fires or fights to get people busted does happen. And the evidence is allowed because firefighters/police acted as they should. If we actually looked at the individual’s rights in these cases they would be thrown out because the 3rd-party who called in the fake fire or whatever was doing something illegal to violate their rights, but we don’t do that

  215. 215
    jg says:

    only recently have they seen fit to hide behind a government that they used to say they didn’t trust.

    Thats because there was a democrat in the White House, and FEMA had the ability to take over the country, and there were black helicopters all over. Things are different now.

  216. 216
    t. jasper parnell says:

    There is a difference between loaning out a boat and letting the state into your house, isn’t there? The homey example used, which forms a minor part of the reasoning, of the unwante/wanted house guest offers, however, a response to your quandry. Would the sister in law take the boat over the object of the husband; that is if she asked and the wife said sure and the husband said no way, would the use of the boat been unencombered by the refusal?

  217. 217
    Davebo says:

    Nobody can accuse you of being too bright Davebo. What motor voter did, and does, is allow non-citizens the right to vote without having to show any proof of citizenship.

    Really, I realize that’s been a popular complaint.

    But it just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

    Motor Voter allowed for registration by mailing in an application. However it also requires that the voter appear in person to vote in the first election after registering.

    On the other hand, to register in person a voter needs to supply in most cases two forms of identification, but no proof of citizenship.

    In other words, the requirements, either through the mail, or in the old fashioned way in person are the same.

  218. 218
    Joey says:

    Thats because there was a democrat in the White House, and FEMA had the ability to take over the country, and there were black helicopters all over. Things are different now.

    Hmm….. I sense a fellow X-Phile….

  219. 219
    SeesThroughIt says:

    The important issues are the statues with exposed breasts.

    “That can’t be Lady Justice–her tits are hanging out!”

    As long as we’re talking about guns, I’d like to remind everybody that there are only three reasons to own a gun: home security, hunting dangerous or delicious animals, and keeping the King of England out of your face.

  220. 220
    Darrell says:

    When the Democratic Congress meets in emergency session to pass some extremist Michael Moore law

    Tell us Steve, what was so “extremist” about passing a law giving a Federal court jurisdiction in a case. Given that was your #1 example of right-wing extremist policy, you are without question grasping at straws because the facts don’t match with your claims

    Btw, I don’t recall Dobson or Robertson being given speaking slots or special treatment in the Presidential booth at the RNC convention.. do you?

  221. 221
    scs says:

    You know what’s funny, this country has been around a long time, with lots of searches and married couples the whole time, and we are just NOW deciding this? Strange.

  222. 222
    jg says:

    I’m sure it doesn’t happen nearly as often as Hollywood plays it, but things like calling in fake fires or fights to get people busted does happen.

    My experience tells me it happens a lot. If you’re fom the inner city, or worse live in the housing projects, nothing short of saying there’s a riot occurring will bring cops. Cops show up, don’t find a riot, they find teenagers knocking back budweisers and arrest them. Calling and saying there are teenagers drinking won’t get a response from the police so you embellish.

    If you know your neighbor is dealing calling the cops might bring them out but probably won’t so you lie and say they’re playing their music too loud or you hear a woman being beaten. I am not making this up.

  223. 223
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Because someone asked the court to decide the issue? What is funny about that?

  224. 224
    scs says:

    Because someone asked the court to decide the issue? What is funny about that

    ?

    That the issue never arose before.

  225. 225
    Steve says:

    What is complicated about a rule that say if both occupants are present both need to consent? How is this a policy and not a legal principle? Co-equal owners have co-equal rights and thus neither one can trump the others, estranged, coke-head (not stoner), or other. This seems to me to be a clear line.

    Well, that’s a fair question. Souter says, for example:

    [W]e have to admit that we are drawing a fine line; if a potential defendant with self-interest in objecting is in fact at the door and objects, the co-tenant’s permission does not suffice for a reasonable search, whereas the potential objector, nearby [say, in a squad car, or asleep elsewhere in the apartment] but not invited to take part in the threshold colloquy, loses out.

    Reading Souter’s opinion, it’s clear he understood the importance of having a bright-line rule, and it’s clear he thought he was setting one, fine line or no. I’m just not convinced that he succeeded.

    It’s worth reading the opinion (pdf link) because I think it’s useful to see the extent to which real-world considerations factor in to setting these rules. We all have basic understandings about what kind of privacy we expect in everyday situations, like the hypotheticals scs has been tossing around. In scenario X, we might all agree that it’s fine for a roommate to let someone else into the apartment. In scenario Y, we might agree that it’s not okay. And the goal of the law is, essentially, to enforce these commonly understood notions of privacy, while not muddling things so much that every situation has to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

    Some people like to pretend that the answers are all clearly there in the text of the Constitution; but when you’re dealing with an open-ended term like “unreasonable” searches and seizures, you have to look at real-world definitions of what is and isn’t unreasonable. The courts don’t always get it right, of course, but that’s at least the process they try to go through.

  226. 226
    Steve says:

    Tell us Steve, what was so “extremist” about passing a law giving a Federal court jurisdiction in a case.

    I surrender. You win. There was nothing at all extreme about it, Congress passes laws regarding individual medical situations every day. I’m finding the legal discussions with others far too interesting to continue wallowing around in the gutter with you.

  227. 227
    metalgrid says:


    Hmmmm. Well this is close one I guess. My view is that common ownership gives each owner the ability to act, not the co-owner the right to veto. For instance, if a married couple owned a boat, and the wife wanted to lend out the boat to her sister for the weekend, then she would be legally allowed to do it. I would think the husband has no legal right to stop her. I would think the same applies to a house- at least the common areas of a house. Perhaps there was a stronger argument to be made for him for his “private” areas, such as a locked trunk of his or his “diary”, but def not the common areas. I just don’t think someone has a veto over equal rights.

    The true test of ownership is the right of disposal. If they owned a boat and the wife wanted to give it to her sister and the husband said no, the no overrides the yes. But yet again, you have to realize that this is dealing with individuals and not the state.

    The state has limits imposed on its encroachments into private space due to its overreaching nature and in the cases of joint ownership where one person says “yes” to a search and the other says “no”, the person in essence is giving the state permission to search the other person, which is not valid.

    Think of it as your wife telling police it’s ok to invasively search you despite your protests to the contrary :p

  228. 228
    jg says:

    Really, I realize that’s been a popular complaint.

    But it just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

    The same could be said of the Death Tax and stories of families losing their farms because they can’t pay the Estate Tax bill.

  229. 229
    bbbustard says:

    Congratulations! You really had no choice, as there is no principled reason one can find for supporting this Republican party.

  230. 230
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    I don’t recall Dobson or Robertson being given speaking slots or special treatment in the Presidential booth at the RNC convention

    Perhaps not, but I’d like to know if they (or any of their close associates) were delegates:

    Phyllis Schlafly […] had been a Delegate or Alternate to every Republican National Convention since 1952.

  231. 231
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Steve,
    The line seems to me to be bright and, on the evidence of the previous state courts holding that Randolf had the right to refuse the search because he was there, it doesn’t seem like it was all that baffling.

    It seems like hard graft to transform this into some new complicated reading of rights inherent to property holders.

  232. 232
    scs says:

    Okay MetalGrid and Steve above make valid points. However, another point I just thought of. How can it be not okay to let the police in when the husband is there and objects but pefectly fine for the wife to let the police in when the husband is not there? That is not legally consistent. Either the wife has the right to let the cops in, or not. It shouldn’t matter whether the husband is there or not. After all just because the husband isn’t there, doesn’t mean he’s not objecting, wherever he is, so if we are to stick with permission from both, the cops should get permission from both, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

    See that’s why Roberts is still right.

  233. 233
    Steve says:

    The true test of ownership is the right of disposal. If they owned a boat and the wife wanted to give it to her sister and the husband said no, the no overrides the yes. But yet again, you have to realize that this is dealing with individuals and not the state.

    The state has limits imposed on its encroachments into private space due to its overreaching nature and in the cases of joint ownership where one person says “yes” to a search and the other says “no”, the person in essence is giving the state permission to search the other person, which is not valid.

    The thing about searches and seizures is that you have to come up with a rule that’s fair to the police, something they can legitimately follow as long as they act in good faith. For example, if you and I jointly own a house, it’s pretty clear that you can’t sell it without my permission. Even if you lie to the buyer and claim it’s just your house, he is protected because he can do a title search and find out it’s actually owned by 2 people and it will require 2 signatures.

    But when the police come to the door to search for contraband, you can’t reasonably expect them to do a title search first. If someone answers the door and invites them in, it’s reasonable for them to take that as consent to a search, unless they have reason to know better (as if, for example, they know the person who answered the door is just the houseguest, and they purposely waited until the other occupants were away).

    Now, if a co-tenant is at the door, saying “Wait, I live here too, and I object to this search,” you can make a case that the police should realize the consent issue just got less clear. But if there’s a co-tenant who isn’t present, and the police have no idea he exists, they’re entitled to take the word of the guy who’s there. That’s why the issue of consent to a search and the issue of who has the right to dispose of property are not really co-extensive.

  234. 234
    Akhenaten says:

    But…isn’t all law based on the premise of what a “reasonable” person would do in any imagined scenario? What the hell is he talking about? I thought he was brilliant. Seems he just wants to give people the right to exist under police rule, in this ludicrous denial of common sense. Hell, no, I wouldn’t barge my way into a house if one of the residents didn’t want me there! I mean…what kind of houseguest is our dear Justice Roberts, anyhoo?

  235. 235
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    Because both of them have the right to protect themselves from searches if they are they. If you are not there you cannot assert a right, even if you have it. It might be unfair, but it is certainly not illogical. Roberts’ argues that the rule that holds you need to be present to exercise a right ought take into account what you might say if you were there. The opinion finds, to repeat, that you need to be present to exercise your right and this, it seems to me, obviates all attempt to show or argue that it is complicated, illogical and so on.

  236. 236
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Sorry: If they are there

  237. 237
    Rome Again says:

    You know what’s funny, this country has been around a long time, with lots of searches and married couples the whole time, and we are just NOW deciding this? Strange.

    Are we truly just now deciding this, or was it common sense precedent previously and the right-wingers are trying to change that? Seems to me this is sort of like South Dakota putting abortion back on the docket right after Bush appoints a far-right judge who so-called Conservatives expect will be the vote to finally strike it down. It’s the timing that is suspect.

  238. 238
    jg says:

    If someone answers the door and invites them in, it’s reasonable for them to take that as consent to a search, unless they have reason to know better (as if, for example, they know the person who answered the door is just the houseguest, and they purposely waited until the other occupants were away).

    Reminds me of a Law and Order episode where they waited until the suspect got into his car before they arrested him so they could search the impounded car which they were unable to get a warrant to search.

  239. 239
    scs says:

    Okay, I will come up with the bright line for you all. The police have a right to enter a dwelling if they are invited in by someone inside the house, whether or not someoone there objects. The police can’t be bothered to chase down ‘oks’ from all occupants of a house who may or may not be home, and so one permission is suficient. If one permission is sufficient, then it shouldn’t matter if the objecting person is present. If the person who invites them is a roommate or a spouse or a guest, fine. The cooocupant had the right to not share his space with this person whom he doesn’t trust to make the right decision for him. If the person at the door is a person who broke into the house, it’s still okay for the police to go in, because as long as they have no knowledge of this, then the police have no choice but to assume that the person was invited by the houseowners and so has the right to let them in.

    There you go -logical in all ways and a very shiny bright line.

  240. 240
    Steve says:

    They have always been gun nuts, only recently have they seen fit to hide behind a government that they used to say they didn’t trust. It gets confusing having “state security” Republicans and “individual freedoms” Republicans, I never realized this exactly I guess. I’ve always understood Republicans to be pro-NRA militia types prior to now, and I was under the impression that those statists still harbored a love for the gun (“as long as I’m not doing anything wrong, it’s okay with me if the government…”) get my drift?

    I don’t think the actual gun nuts, by which I mean the people holed up in cabins in Idaho, are hypocrites at all. I think these folks legitimately distrust government, I don’t think they like hearing about things like the NSA spying program, and I don’t believe they feel it’s ok just because George Bush says it’s ok. Now, of course, there are hypocritical politicians who give lip service to individual rights, but then when they have to defend a Republican spying program, all of a sudden it’s national security that is paramount.

    Now, will the gun nuts suddenly start voting for Democrats? (Probably not, if I am the candidate and I keep calling them “gun nuts.”) I dunno… not until the right kind of Democrat decides to run in their district, that’s for sure. But if these folks decide to stop giving their money and votes to the Republicans, that’s enough to make a difference right there, at least in certain states. The Republicans will never win Michigan without the gun vote, for example.

  241. 241
    Perry Como says:

    I told you real conservatives have an inherent trust of government. If your spouse gives the police permission to strip search you, your spouse’s permission overrides your objection. After all, you could have chosen to marry that person and “become one”, thereby giving your spouse authority over your body.

  242. 242
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    This is getting tedious. The problem with your bright line is that it does not respond to the substantive claim of the opinion. If the other occupant is there they can deny the police entry as each occupant possesses the same bundle of sticks (that is property rights) and neithers can therefore logically trump the others.

  243. 243
    Steve says:

    If your spouse gives the police permission to strip search you, your spouse’s permission overrides your objection. After all, you could have chosen to marry that person and “become one”, thereby giving your spouse authority over your body.

    Surely you don’t mean that to apply equally to men and women.

  244. 244
    scs says:

    If your spouse gives the police permission to strip search you, your spouse’s permission overrides your objection.

    Your body is not equal property, your house is.

    And by the way, to further support my argument, if it is okay to enter the house when the wife is home and the husband is not, because the husband is not there to represent his objections, then it should follow that it shouldn’t be so wrong for the police to enter when no one is home. After all, he’s not there to voice his objection, right? And also, I could think of a case where the wife lets in the cops while the husband is in another room, and after they come in, the husbands comes out to object. Do the cops have to turn around and leave then? No. Again, it should be one or the other. Either one person has the right to let in the cops or not – whether or not the person is there.

  245. 245
    Perry Como says:

    Surely you don’t mean that to apply equally to men and women.

    Of course not. Equal rights is an idea trumpeted by far left moonbats like Michael Moore. Real conservatives want to repeal the 14th Amendment.

  246. 246
    Rome Again says:

    If one permission is sufficient, then it shouldn’t matter if the objecting person is present. If the person who invites them is a roommate or a spouse or a guest, fine. The cooocupant had the right to not share his space with this person whom he doesn’t trust to make the right decision for him. If the person at the door is a person who broke into the house, it’s still okay for the police to go in, because as long as they have no knowledge of this, then the police have no choice but to assume that the person was invited by the houseowners and so has the right to let them in.

    There it is again, I have a hard time grasping this position. When did Republicans become the party to argue for cops to gain entry in a search? Was it 9/11?

    You are not taking any other owners (of property, of personal effects, whatever) into consideration. Excuse me if this sounds rude, but were you always this selfish? Don’t you care that someone else has some sort of property in that dwelling and their personal position is not being considered when their property is subject to search? Do you trust the government that much? Don’t you take others into account? How about if it was your spouse? It sounds as if you’re just finding a way to gain entry for the authorities.

  247. 247
    jg says:

    And by the way, to further support my argument, if it is okay to enter the house when the wife is home and the husband is not, because the husband is not there to represent his objections, then it should follow that it shouldn’t be so wrong for the police to enter when no one is home. After all, he’s not there to voice his objection, right? And also, I could think of a case where the wife lets in the cops while the husband is in another room, and after they come in, the husbands comes out to object. Do the cops have to turn around and leave then? No. Again, it should be one or the other. Either one person has the right to let in the cops or not – whether or not the person is there.

    This is why the common man is NOT qualified to serve in any gov’t capacity. Please give me the most learned idividual that can be found in either party.

  248. 248
    scs says:

    and neithers can therefore logically trump the others.

    Right, that’s why one person has as much right to let someone in as another has to object.

  249. 249
    Perry Como says:

    Since we seem to be making shit up as we go along, here is my “bright line” rule:

    Police do not require the permission of anyone to search your property.

    After all, if you haven’t done anything wrong then why would you mind? Real conservatives support warrantless searches. It fits right in with warrantless wire taps and trusting the government.

  250. 250
    scs says:

    Excuse me if this sounds rude, but were you always this selfish? Don’t you care that someone else has some sort of property in that dwelling and their personal position is not being considered when their property is subject to search?

    I’m just trying to be logically consistent. If you want to get permission from all occupants of a house, then it should be done. Then that would force the cops to chase down all possible ocupants of a house to get permission, whether they are home or not, before they can be let in. If you don’t, then one resident of a house is sufficient. It’s either one of the other- stop trying to do a mushy middle.

  251. 251
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    Perhaps this might help you to respond to the point made not some alternative arugment you would like to make

    This is the line we draw, and we think the formalism is justified. So long as there is no evidence that the policehave removed the potentially objecting tenant from the entrance for the sake of avoiding a possible objection, there is practical value in the simple clarity of complementary
    rules, one recognizing the co-tenant’s permission when there is no fellow occupant on hand, the other according
    dispositive weight to the fellow occupant’s contrary
    indication when he expresses it. For the very reason that Rodriguez held it would be unjustifiably impractical to require the police to take affirmative steps to confirm the actual authority of a consenting individual whose authority was apparent, we think it would needlessly limit the capacity of the police to respond to ostensibly legitimate
    opportunities in the field if we were to hold that reasonableness required the police to take affirmative steps to find a potentially objecting co-tenant before acting on the permission they had already received. There is no ready reason to believe that efforts to invite a refusal would make a difference in many cases, whereas every cotenant consent case would turn into a test about the adequacy
    of the police’s efforts to consult with a potential objector. Better to accept the formalism of distinguishing Matlock from this case than to impose a requirement, time-consuming in the field and in the courtroom, with noapparent systemic justification. The pragmatic decision to accept the simplicity of this line is, moreover, supported bythe substantial number of instances in which suspects who are asked for permission to search actually consent,9 albeit imprudently, a fact that undercuts any argument that the police should try to locate a suspected inhabitant because his denial of consent would be a foregone conclusion.

  252. 252
    Perry Como says:

    I’m just trying to be logically consistent.

    And Michael Jackson is trying to be a normal guy.

  253. 253
    John says:

    Let me take a crack at it.

    Rights are, by their nature, inherent. The only person who can legally abrogate the right is the rightsholder. When you have the case of two people jointly holding rights to a property, one of whom allows a search, the other who does not, how can the rights be held fairly?

    If you allow the search, the person who abnegated their right is satisfied; the one who held onto their right had it violated.

    If you disallow the search, the person who abnegated their right still releases their right, but the police did not act on it; the one who held onto their right had it upheld.

    Only in the latter case are no rights violated. Therefore, only in the latter case are the actions constitutional.

  254. 254
    scs says:

    t. jasper parnell you lost me on that one. Better reboot your computer.

  255. 255
    Rome Again says:

    If you don’t, then one resident of a house is sufficient. It’s either one of the other- stop trying to do a mushy middle.

    But the property being searched belongs to more than one person, some of it may be exclusively owned by the person not there (owned before this marriage in a previous marriage, company property that is in the care of the spouse not present, etc…).

    You should not be able to search a person’s property if they have not consented to it.

  256. 256
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    You see from the above that the justices sought to craft rule that respected the consitutional rights of property holders but did not unduly burden the police seeking to properly exercise there authority. The logic you tout is the logic of a fool. The point is to find a rule that, to the best one is able, balances the competing rights, interests, and whathave of citizens and the state. In this instance, properly and logically, the court found that individuals have the right to refuse entery if they are present even if someone else present offers the egress.

  257. 257

    I’m coming to this late and haven’t read all the comments, but if one party objects, what’s wrong with getting a search warrant?

  258. 258
    t. jasper parnell says:

    scs Says:

    t. jasper parnell you lost me on that one. Better reboot your computer.

    It is not I that you cannot follow, although that would seem also to be the case, the quote is from the opinion with which you are taking issue, although clearly you have not bother to read. Go read and seek to understand it, for the sake of the commonwealth.

  259. 259
    jg says:

    I’m coming to this late and haven’t read all the comments, but if one party objects, what’s wrong with getting a search warrant?

    Nothing. Of course they might need a valid reason and ‘they wouldn’t let us in’ isn’t a valid reason unless you’re a conservative with a newfound love of big gov’t.

    Scs, are you paid to incrase the post count of Johns threads?

  260. 260
    scs says:

    You should not be able to search a person’s property if they have not consented to it.

    People who are supporting this ruling say that a cooccupant can let the police in if the other cooccupant is not there to voice his objections. That then would make the law inconsistent in the following ways. Why should a person with a roommate or spouse have less rights to object to a search of his home when he is not home than a single occupant has to object to a search of his home when he is not home? If permission is needed by an occupant, then permission is needed, whether or not he has a roommate and whether or not he is home. It should be equal under the law.

  261. 261
    Rome Again says:

    It should be equal under the law.

    If my property is in your home (I live there, pay rent there) my property should not be able to be searched without my permission. For you to give permission for my property to be searched just because I’m not there is not equal under the law, it’s MY property, I didn’t grant permission.

  262. 262
    nelson muntz says:

    Silly boy, never invite a vampire into your house.

  263. 263
    Fledermaus says:

    As a resident of a house, I am allowed to invite anyone in I choose. If my roommate doesn’t like it, he can leave the house or move out. Same with the police I think.

    SCS,

    No. You and your roomate have exactly equal rights to the apartment. Property ownership is the power to exclude the whole world from your property. It is not the right to have over anyone you want. Your roommate’s power to exclude trumps your right to have people over.

  264. 264
    scs says:

    For you to give permission for my property to be searched just because I’m not there is not equal under the law, it’s MY property, I didn’t grant permission.

    Exactly. Then you have to change the law. Because as it stands right now, if the objecting roommate is there, the cops can’t go in. But if the roommate is NOT, there the cops CAN go in, without taking into account the possiblitity he might be objecting out there wherever he may be. It doesn’t make sense for the reasons I described above. That’s why the conservative position is the most logically consistent position.

  265. 265
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    If you are not present to exercise the right to refuse entry the police you cannot exercise that right. There is nothing illogical or mushy middle about this position. It is plain as a pike staff and twice as pointed.

  266. 266

    I was your typical “vote the candidate, not the party” voter. But that changed in the late 90s when it became apparent that the Republican party was more interested in advancing itself than advancing the country. I have sworn I will not vote for ANY Republicans for the forseeable future, at least not until they can convince me that they have reversed course.

    At this point, I wonder if anything less than the biblical “40 years in the wilderness” will do it.

  267. 267
    Pooh says:

    I’m coming to this late and haven’t read all the comments, but if one party objects, what’s wrong with getting a search warrant?

    That’s so 9/10 thinking.

  268. 268
    scs says:

    If you are not present to exercise the right to refuse entry the police you cannot exercise that right.

    Then we don’t need search warrants at all when no one is home, right?

  269. 269
    Rome Again says:

    Why should a person with a roommate or spouse have less rights to object to a search of his home when he is not home than a single occupant has to object to a search of his home when he is not home?

    Because the property belongs to more than one person, some of it possibly exclusively by the person not there to consent or object.

    Personally I think you are far too accomodating by applying the one person owner vs. two owners with one not there rule. If all men (and I hope that includes all humans, women included) are created equal, then each should have the right to either consent or deny consent to having their own property searched.

    If you are home, and I live with you but I am not, you shouldn’t have the right to give consent to search my property, plain and simple, why is this so hard for you?

  270. 270
    Pooh says:

    jasper, you are wasting your time.

  271. 271
    Steve says:

    Then we don’t need search warrants at all when no one is home, right?

    If the police have no search warrant, they can only search with consent. Now, you can argue whether consent from one person is good enough if there’s a second person involved, but it’s pretty clear that consent from zero people is not good enough.

  272. 272
    scs says:

    Because the property belongs to more than one person, some of it possibly exclusively by the person not there to consent or object…

    Okay, so you CAN search if the roommate is not home.

    If you are home, and I live with you but I am not, you shouldn’t have the right to give consent to search my property, plain and simple, why is this so hard for you?

    Wait, now you CAN’T search if the roommate is not home?

    See what I mean about consistency?

  273. 273
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Lets try this one, although I have said this before, the rule seeks to balance the need of the police to collect evidence, and thus the right of the citizens to protection against lawbreakers, against the right of a propertyholder to refuse unwarranted (in the sense of the police not having a warranted) search. In this instance the justice found logically that if you are there and say they cannot come in, even if someone else who is there says they can, they cannot because — wait for it — each property holder has an equal right to refuse the police entry. If, on the other hand, you are not there and the occupant lets them in you cannot object because 1) you are not there 2) it places an undue burden on the police as they seek to fulfill their role as, you know, police. The logic of this position is that it balances rights against burdens in a way that makes sense for the property holders present(why should on property holder have power over the other property holder’s rights?) and it does not force the police to chase all over god’s little half acre looking for some potential or putative other property holder. See? The logic derives from the situation and purpose of rule making in a this our humble REpublic.

  274. 274
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Pooh,
    Alas you seem to be correct, but you know the bad habits that arise from a commitment to the Enlightenment project, die hard.

  275. 275
    Perry Como says:

    What is the rule if the person is not there physically, but has astrally projected and denies entry to police using his out of body presence?

  276. 276
    Fledermaus says:

    If permission is needed by an occupant, then permission is needed, whether or not he has a roommate and whether or not he is home. It should be equal under the law.

    Also, you are right that this is sort of an inconsistancy in the absolutist position. But police work is messy and cops have to make quick calls. It would simply be unduly burdensome to make cops sit around on the phone and searching real estate records to find everyone who might object. It just isn’t practical

    Also one of the tricky things about rights is they have to be asserted – you can waive most, if not all, your rights. This is what happens when you share your property with a roommate you give some power to your roommate to allow access to your property when you’re not there.

    But, as in this case, when you’re right there in your house asserting your 4th amandment rights your roommate’s consent is irrelevant. The right has been asserted. It is a clear bright-line rule that cops will find easy to apply in situations like this.

    Hope this helps, scs.

  277. 277
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Then the police can sequester the material but must needs keep their mitts off the spiritual possesses of said astral projector.

  278. 278
    Pooh says:

    scs, your first quote means exactly the opposite of what you say it to mean. And you’re quoting from someone who agrees with you…

    Beyond that, your standard inability to even engage on the premise of another’s argument is typical of your involvement here. I suppose everytime you play this same wide-eyed innocent shtick, we could quote Tim’s response from a few days ago, verbatim. Or you could attempt to understand what the otherside is saying, and perhaps even keep the thought in your head for long enough that it doesn’t need to be repeated every ten posts when you say “nuh uh” or the equivalent.

    Alternatively, shut up and let the grownups, such as Mac, Al, and Rome articulate a viewpoint consistent with yours, and then, if you have questions, you can ask. You are simply and woefully out of your depth in discussing these matters, and in effect do a disservice to what is actually a colorable position by presenting juvenile points in an even more juvenile fashion.

  279. 279
    Steve says:

    What is the rule if the person is not there physically, but has astrally projected and denies entry to police using his out of body presence?

    That would be an “ether/or” situation.

  280. 280
    Pooh says:

    Fledermaus, that is very well put.

  281. 281
    Rome Again says:

    If, on the other hand, you are not there and the occupant lets them in you cannot object because 1) you are not there 2) it places an undue burden on the police as they seek to fulfill their role as, you know, police. The logic of this position is that it balances rights against burdens in a way that makes sense for the property holders present

    Well, I think that stinks, if I’m out earning a living, just because I’m not there my property shouldn’t be allowed to be searched.

    This is nothing more than a time issue that gives the benefit to authorities. I should have the right to consent or refuse consent.

  282. 282
    scs says:

    Well Parnell, I see your point about undue burden. However, that doesn’t justify unequal protection under the law. People with roommates, whom some might argue tend to be younger or poorer than people who can afford to live alone, should have the same rights to refuse searches to his possessions when he is not home than someone who lives alone.

    No I would say that these unreasonable searches laws are mostly based on the concept of trespassing. Police, like anyone, don’t have the right to trespass in someone’s property, unless they have the exception of a search warrant. However, in terms of trespassing, if one person in a house invites you in, you are legally allowd to enter the house and it is not trespassing. That invited guest doesn’t have to then hunt down all members of the house to make sure he has the right to be invited in- one invitation is enough. In fact, even if someone in a house invites you in, and the roommate is present and he objects, the invitee still has the legal right to come in and is not trespassing. For instance, if the roommate who objects called the cops to complain about a trespasser in his house whom his roommate invited in, the cops whould laugh at him.

    So it should be with the police, who should have no less right to be invited into a house than an ordinary person. Let’s make the law consistent.

  283. 283
    jg says:

    Its sad to thik all those years I spent calling myself a republican because I believed in less gov’t power and therefore more freedom.

    Was I deluded or have the republicans just got drunk with all this power they now have since they control the White House, Congress, SCOTUS and the media?

  284. 284
    scs says:

    Wahtever Pooh. Don’t you have your own blog to attend to? You need to hang out over there so you can wow you’re many posters with your scintillating grown-up logic.

  285. 285
    scs says:

    That’s ‘whatever’ and ‘your’

  286. 286
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    Although I agree wholeheartedly with Pooh’s point, what unequal protection are you talking aobut?

  287. 287
    Pooh says:

    And I was about to say something nice about your second to last post.

  288. 288
    Rome Again says:

    Was I deluded or have the republicans just got drunk with all this power they now have since they control the White House, Congress, SCOTUS and the media?

    I think they changed jg, not you. Republicans supposedly used to be for smaller government, personal freedoms and such. Not anymore, apparently. Of course, I could be wrong, and this was the hidden agenda all along and many of us just didn’t realize it (Republicans and Democrats alike), but I think they have become drunk with power.

    Then again, I just resigned from the Democratic party recently, because apparently they don’t seem to have the same beliefs I do, that truth trumps corruptive power.

  289. 289
    scs says:

    And I was about to say something nice about your second to last post.

    Darn. I really missed out.

  290. 290
    Fledermaus says:

    scs,

    Look if you’re genuinely curious about 4th Amendment law go here enter your zip code and have it. You will find all your points above addressed for your jurisdiction.

  291. 291
    Mac Buckets says:

    “We have, after all, lived our whole national history with an understanding of the ancient adage that a man’s home is his castle,” Justice Souter said.

    Ummmm, Justice Souter, I have a follow-up question regarding “our whole national history,” judicial hypocrisy, and your Kelo vote. Hello? Hello?

  292. 292
    t. jasper parnell says:

    The larger point here is that in the situation in which we find ourselves, laws, consitution, state, govenment, police, citizens, competing rights and so on, rules have to be crafted that take all these facts, factors, agents, and individuals into account. Some might argue and some might be whatever we might wish them to be when seeking to show that that which is the case is not. So the rule in Randolf takes into account the reality of the situation and offers a new bright line: when everyone with a right to assert is availble to assert that right they get to and the police have to respect the assertion that runs counter to the their interest in gaining what they wish. What is about this position (not some new one) that defies somehow logic, reason, experience, and necessity?

  293. 293
    Rome Again says:

    So it should be with the police, who should have no less right to be invited into a house than an ordinary person. Let’s make the law consistent.

    I tremble at the thought of you ever gaiing any real position of power, you seem to not care whether everyone’s individual rights are protected or not.

  294. 294
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Mac Buckets,
    Emminent Domain (or however it is spelt) and search and seizure are two different and unrelated issues, for goodness.

  295. 295
    Fledermaus says:

    In fact, even if someone in a house invites you in, and the roommate is present and he objects, the invitee still has the legal right to come in and is not trespassing.

    No. No. No. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Go back and re-read.

    And with that I’m done. TJP and Pooh, I leave it to you.

  296. 296
    scs says:

    I tremble at the thought of you ever gaiing any real position of power, you seem to not care whether everyone’s individual rights are protected or not.

    Yes logical consistency seems to have fallen out of favour into just thinking whatever suits you. Kind of like, I voted for the war but I don’t support it. As a member on the intelligence committee, I knew about the spying and I didn’t protest it, but now I want the President impeached. And John swtiched to that?

  297. 297
    Perry Como says:

    Ok, let’s say a person isn’t physically there to assert his right, nor astrally projecting to assert spiritual right. What if the person has crafted a golem, but instead of writing Emet on its forehead, you write “Police may not search this premises”. Does the golem’s presence serve as a vessel to represent your rights?

    These are serious questions that real conservatives want addressed.

  298. 298
    jg says:

    Mac Buckets,
    Emminent Domain (or however it is spelt) and search and seizure are two different and unrelated issues, for goodness.

    Ha! Like the folks in the heartland will make that distinction. All that matters is credibility and Mac is showing how Souters credibility will be spun to those who don’t live on the coasts. You know the real americans.

  299. 299
    scs says:

    No. No. No. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Go back and re-read.

    Sorry, as much respect I have for our much vaunted posters here and their legal knowledge, I think the law is pretty clear on this one.

  300. 300
    Mac Buckets says:

    Emminent Domain (or however it is spelt) and search and seizure are two different and unrelated issues, for goodness.

    Of course they are. But shouldn’t “our whole national history” reflect the same “understanding of the ancient adage” in both cases? It seems like Souter is picking and choosing when my home is a protective castle and when my home is a moneymaking tool entirely at the government’s disposal.

  301. 301
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    Your insistance or assertion of logical inconsistancy is not the same as having proven it. Particularly in this case. If you can show that, taking into account the actual situation the justices addressed, that their rules fails to deal with the competing interests and parties, I, for one, would be very much edified.

  302. 302
    jg says:

    I think the law is pretty clear on this one.

    Of course you do, because you don’t understand it.

  303. 303
    scs says:

    you write “Police may not search this premises”. Does the golem’s presence serve as a vessel to represent your rights?

    That is actually a real question, as much as you try ot make it silly. Let’s say a roommate is not home, but leaves a signed notarized taped note on the door that the police see, that states he does not want police to enter the home when he is not home. Can the roommate still let the cops in when he isn’t home? See the muddiness continues.

  304. 304
    scs says:

    Of course you do, because you don’t understand it.

    Oh really? Please show me some case law that states a roommate cannot invite in a guest whom his roommate objects to?

  305. 305
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Mac Buckets
    Not if the situations being addressed are not idenitical. Our whole national history shows a marked dislike of the abuse of state power, eminent domain is not seen as an abuse, it is in the constituion no?, Kelo simply found that the rule under which the property got taken did not violate the consitituion. The law could and, one hopes, will be rewritten to further reign in the power the constitution gives to the state. It is not hypocrisy to apply principles when they go against personal desire, is it?

  306. 306
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    If a case arises where a roommate/spouse or other co-occupant with property rights posts such a note it will go to the court and will then be decided. The decision under debate, if this can properly be called debate, does not seek to resolve any other circumstance except those in the case decided and in deciding that case the justices crafted a rule that must be followed in all future cases where the same set of facts obtain. This is how the rule making works.

  307. 307
    Rome Again says:

    Yes logical consistency seems to have fallen out of favour into just thinking whatever suits you. Kind of like, I voted for the war but I don’t support it. As a member on the intelligence committee, I knew about the spying and I didn’t protest it, but now I want the President impeached. And John swtiched to that?

    I’m less inclined to worry about logical consistency and more inclined to worry about the rights of individuals. What inconsistency are you so concerned about? Why isn’t the right of all individuals consistent? Your argument isn’t consistent either, it would not protect any individual’s rights at all. What exactly do you have against the Constitution? Why do you care more about gaining entry for authorities, rather than protecting the rights of an individual?

    To be quite honest, my parents were both Republicans, but seriously, even though my parents are both now deceased, I don’t think they’d agree that this is their GOP anymore.

  308. 308
    wtf says:

    stickler Says:

    There is no “w” in slammer.

    Oh, have patience. I’m reasonably confident that there’ll be a “W” in the slammer someday soon.

    PRICELESS!!!

  309. 309
    Rome Again says:

    Let’s say a roommate is not home, but leaves a signed notarized taped note on the door that the police see, that states he does not want police to enter the home when he is not home. Can the roommate still let the cops in when he isn’t home? See the muddiness continues.

    I personally don’t see that as muddy at all. Being that I’m a notary, I’m inclined to think the person exercised their right to refuse permission, as long as the note was signed by the individual and notarized, it should be a stand-in for the person not being there. Of course, with the abuse of power taking place that we have now, I’m inclined to think my commission as a notary will not be reinstated too many terms longer. A court of law today could strike it down, who knows anymore, none of what seemed normal in the past seems normal now.

  310. 310
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Mac Buckets,
    Below are some quotes from Kelo that indicate the lines of disagreement, which revolves around the changing meaning of the takings clause. Where is the hypocrisy?

    From Kelo
    Petitioners’ proposal that the Court adopt a new bright-line rule that economic development does not qualify as a public use is supported by neither precedent nor logic. Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted governmental function, and there is no principled way of distinguishing it from the other public purposes the Court has recognized. See, e.g., Berman, 348 U. S., at
    24. Also rejected is petitioners’ argument that for takings of this kind the Court should require a “reasonable certainty” that the expected public benefits will actually accrue. Such a rule would represent an even greater departure from the Court’s precedent. E.g., Midkiff, 467 U. S., at 242. The disadvantages of a heightened form of review are especially pronounced in this type of case, where orderly implementation of a comprehensive plan requires all interested parties’
    legal rights to be established before new construction can commence. The Court declines to second-guess the wisdom of the means the city has selected to effectuate its plan.

    From Connor’s dissent to Kelo:

    But “public ownership” and “use-by-the-public” are sometimes too constricting and impractical ways to define the scope of the Public Use Clause. Thus we have allowed that, in certain circumstances and to meet certain exigencies, takings that serve a public purpose
    also satisfy the Constitution even if the property is destined for subsequent private use. See, e.g., Berman v. Parker, 348 U. S. 26 (1954); Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, 467 U. S. 229 (1984).

  311. 311
    scs says:

    Okay, I’ve got one more and then I’m done with this subject. As far as I know, and as Roberts said, one roommate has the right to invite in whomever he pleases, over the objections of his roommates. Since the law now stands that a roommate can invite in an ordinary person, but not a ploice officer over the objections of the roommate, can a police officer now sign off duty, remove his badge and then enter the house as a private person? And then once inside he can effect a citizens arrest when he see something illegal. I don’t see why not. I think that stands legally according to these inconsistent laws we have now.

  312. 312
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    Could you respond to at least one of the points I’ve raised?
    And by the way you are mistaking rules and laws, which might explain much of your previous confusion.

  313. 313
    scs says:

    SCS, Could you respond to at least one of the points I’ve raised?

    Look there are many people raising many different points and I can’t respond to all. I just pick the ones I find the most interesting to me. However, to satisfy you, pick one you’ve raised, and I will respond before I go.

  314. 314
    Perry Como says:

    Why doesn’t the officer just get a warrant?

    Does it actually take effort to think up these contrived situations?

    “Can a police officer use his shrink-o ray and slip into the shirt pocket of the roommate and take pitcures using a nano-camera with x-ray technology? If he finds any contraband can he then use the reverse switch on his shrink-o ray to return to full size and arrest the person at that moment, or does he have to use his shrink-o ray outside the home?”

  315. 315
    scs says:

    “Can a police officer use his shrink-o ray and slip into the shirt pocket of the roommate and take pitcures using a nano-camera with x-ray technology?

    See I enjoy this. You came up with a silly situation that has a real life parallel. Can a cop give a camera to a roommate at the door and get the roommate to take instant pictures of the contraband, give it to the cops, and then the cops has probable cause which they can use to enter? See this is fun. But not only that, it exposes the ridiculousness of the law.

  316. 316
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    How about the nature of rule making and the competing interests or the logic of the rule, or the mistake of assuming that one rule must decide all potential situations, or the error in conflating law and rules or some such.

  317. 317
    Kirk Spencer says:

    SCS, mind if I take a whack at explaining? In simple (longwinded follows) analogy, when one person is absent the present individual has a de facto and de jure proxy on the authority to waive a right. When both are present the proxy does not exist.

    Let’s keep the situation common for a few examples. One house, jointly owned by the two occupants. Don’t add anything else – marriage or other conditions – as they’re immaterial. The police arrive at the house and knock on the door, wanting to come in and look around but not having a warrant for such.

    situation 1: Nobody’s home. Result: the police are denied entry.

    Situation 2: Both people are home, both agree in decision. Police get to enter or denied depending on owner’s decision.

    Situation 3: Only one person is home. Makes decision. Police act based on single person’s decision. Yes, this is your problem area and I’m going to come back to it.

    Situation 4: Both people are home. One says yes, one says no. By the decision of the court, the “no” wins.

    First, why does the “no” win? The answer lies in the first situation – the default if nobody is home. “No” takes precedence over “yes” in surrendering rights when more than one individualwith authority to surrender the right (important) makes the call. But you raise a point of confusion – or at least, it confuses you. What about case three?

    What if the absent co-owner does not want to surrender? Why do his wishes not matter? Well, in a perfect world it does. The police should try to track down the co-owner and get the answer. HOWEVER, this flies in the face of several similar issues. If the house’s plumbing needs fixed (for example), it is not necessary for the plumber to get the signature of both owners for the work to proceed. It is legally assumed that co-owners of a property will act in mutual support of one another’s cooperatively held rights. Yes, we all know there are times when you (generic, not specific) say, “Screw the roommate”. That’s falling into another area of legal harm that I’m going to leave alone. The point is that the extra mile isn’t necessary because of the assumption of mutual support.

    In other words, if one member is absent and the other grants waiver of mutually held rights it’s ASSUMED that the other would be acting in the first person’s interest.

    Now here’s the funny thing, and a point I think you missed. The reason the lower courts ruled the way they did (that the entry was permissable) was that this particular situation had already been addressed. Situation three – one present representing mutually held rights of both – was the precedent on which the courts were relying. The person present has the proxy of the absent person by default.

    What this court said in supplement was that when the second person is present the first no longer has that proxy.

    The legitimate question of, “What if the absent person left written or oral instructions not to let the police in in this circumstance” was left unanswered. That’s going to be a pain for the police until it does get answered. I’ve no guess which way it’ll fall as frankly there are decent arguments both ways. But in this case that’s what was ruled, and that’s why the difference.

    Did that help?

  318. 318
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS
    It is not a law it is a rule governing the behavior of the police when they seek to obtain entrance into a domicile when both occupants are there to assert their rights, get it?

  319. 319
    Rome Again says:

    Okay, I’ve got one more and then I’m done with this subject. As far as I know, and as Roberts said, one roommate has the right to invite in whomever he pleases, over the objections of his roommates. Since the law now stands that a roommate can invite in an ordinary person, but not a ploice officer over the objections of the roommate, can a police officer now sign off duty, remove his badge and then enter the house as a private person? And then once inside he can effect a citizens arrest when he see something illegal. I don’t see why not. I think that stands legally according to these inconsistent laws we have now.

    If the majority of “Republicans” who (as I understand it) used to be for small government and individual rights think like this as a majority, I think I should start looking at residency procedures in another country.

  320. 320
    Fledermaus says:

    Since the law now stands that a roommate can invite in an ordinary person

    OK, one more try (I’m actually having fun putting off cleaning my apartment for this). Sorry for being curt last time, scs, look there are a whole host different aspects at law here and your confusion is understandable. People, like me, spend three years and one big ass test dealing with it. but in short Robert’s roomate hypo is not law just because it appears in the opinion, there’s probably not even a cite – it was just an analogy, and a flawed one at that.

    Look, the foundation of the entire concept of property is the right to exclude. That is it. There is no corresponding “right to invite people over”. Where there is one owner this is not an issue and so there appears to be a “right to invite people over” but in reality this is just not enforcing the right to exclude.

    Thus, in the roomate situation each person has the right to exclude anyone except the other roommate from the property. But you can’t invite people in over the objection’s of your roommate. Indeed were that the case your roommate would have a civil tresspass cause of action against your guest.

  321. 321
    scs says:

    SCS, How about the nature of rule making and the competing interests or the logic of the rule, or the mistake of assuming that one rule must decide all potential situations, or the error in conflating law and rules or some such.

    Now I know why I didn’t repsond to your questions. Too open-ended. Okay, but I’ll try.

    How about the nature of rule making and the competing interests or the logic of the rule, or the mistake of assuming that one rule must decide all potential situations, ,

    One rule should be consistent to all it applies to, otherwise we have unequal protection under the law.

    or the error in conflating law and rules or some such.

    Laws are rules, at least according to the legal system. There is no “rule” that is not based on a law.

    Okay, hope that helped. Gotta run.

  322. 322
    Kirk Spencer says:

    I see you added a new one – the one about the removal of the badge. Once that refusal’s been given, chicanery is unacceptable. (Yes, there are exceptions. No, I’m not expert enough to know them all.)

    Remember the situation. The police are asking the individual to waive a constitutional right of requiring a warrant. The police have done so for one of three reasons: convenience (instead of taking the time to get a warrant), insufficient cause to get a warrant, lack of clear indication of a crime in progress (which creates a timeliness to prevent harm situation). The last obviously doesn’t apply – it automatically neutralizesthe right. (actually it creates a conflict and after the fact the court will decide if the police did the right thing, but that’s excess.) In both the other cases once the refusal has been denied the police have no other option but to get a warrant. Anything else is a willful attempt to voilate constitutional rights that have been clearly claimed.

    Make sense, or do I need to explain a different way?

  323. 323
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    You are not really a serious person are you. It is interesting talking with you, much like Howard’s End, dontcha know.

  324. 324
    Steve says:

    There have been so many lies and half-truths told about the Kelo decision I’m not surprised that some people basically act like Justice Souter invented the concept of eminent domain.

  325. 325
    scs says:

    Thus, in the roomate situation each person has the right to exclude anyone except the other roommate from the property. But you can’t invite people in over the objection’s of your roommate. Indeed were that the case your roommate would have a civil tresspass cause of action against your guest.

    Hmmm, well that is interesting. So I could have called the cops on all the weirdos my roommates used to invite over? I didn’t know that. Of course I’m sure that depends on state law too. Do you have one law to link to that I can read?

  326. 326
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Steve,
    Maybe it is not mendacity; maybe mostg of world is like SCS, generally ignorant but convinced that they are right and unwilling to rise out of that state by listening.

  327. 327
    scs says:

    Make sense, or do I need to explain a different way?

    Okay that makes some sense. What about this one then. If the wife tells the cops that she has seen that her husband had cocaine in the house, ins’t that probably cause to enter, so a warrant is not needed anyway?

  328. 328
    scs says:

    I meant “probable” above

  329. 329
    slickdpdx says:

    I suggest that instead of being upset at the police in these situations it would have been more appropriate to blame the co-tenant. Be careful who you share property with should have been the ruling.
    Instead we get: Joint tenants have equal rights, unless its a police matter, in which case the tenant against police entry trumps the right of the other tenant.

  330. 330
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    This is not a “how about this one” the issue here is the logic and finding of this case not the logic and finds of all conceivable cases, get it? A rule guiding police behavior crafted to respect etc. Not a law but a rule governing a specific kind of situation.

  331. 331
    Fledermaus says:

    So I could have called the cops on all the weirdos my roommates used to invite over?

    Yes. Although it might take the cops awhile to show up if they’re just being wierd, not threatening or anything, but once the cops got there they would probably tell them to leave or be arrested. On the other hand, you could also hire a lawyer and sue the crap out of them if they refused to leave when you asked them. Although I have no idea how much you’d get for damages.

  332. 332
    Cyrus says:

    Over 300 comments in eight hours? Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see that following a post like this, but still, wow.

    Patterico’s defense of Roberts seems ignorant of some really basic facts. Roberts offers a dozen examples of when it might be legitimate for a private citizen to enter a jointly owned property against the objections of one of the owners but not the other. They’re all true and reasonable-sounding.

    They’re also all irrelevant. The important part of that sentence is not “legitimate”, it is “private citizen”. What does Roberts think the Bill of Rights is, a guide to etiquette? Nooo… it’s a limitation on the power of the government. There are lots of things that are legal for private citizens to do that it is illegal for the government to do. The simplest one, of course, is censorship. Some journalist who got fired from his network for interviewing Saddam in 2002, college papers that get shut down for the content of what they say, counterprotesters physically blocking from view people like Fred Phelps – some of those might be unethical, but they’re all obviously legal. But done by the government, they would all contradict the First Amendment.

    And while I don’t know all the ins and outs of trespassing law, it seems clear that the threshold for legality would be much higher for a cop than for a private citizen. Just because it’s legal for me to do all that stuff, doesn’t mean it is for a police officer. So if Roberts had any support for his permission that cops should adopt the property rights stance of Dracula, Patterico didn’t quote them.

    Caveat: I haven’t read the SCOTUS’s decision, just what’s quoted here – I couldn’t find the decision online, just Robert’s dissent. I also haven’t read all this thread, just the first 20 or so posts and the last 10 or so. Sorry, but if I read all 300 posts before I threw in my two cents, it would be 400. If this exact point has already been brought up and settled, feel free to ignore me. I see that scs apparently responded to something like it. She asks,

    Since the law now stands that a roommate can invite in an ordinary person, but not a police officer over the objections of the roommate, can a police officer now sign off duty, remove his badge and then enter the house as a private person?

    A cop does not become a private citizen just by going off duty. If he or she did, avoiding punishment for misconduct would be way too easy. Leaking the name of a minor to the press? “It’s okay, I had gone home for the night.” Saw some pot in circumstances that would be inadmissible in court? “I was on my lunch break!” If a cop can get around really basic restrictions on conduct just by not being on the clock, there’s no point in having the restrictions at all.

  333. 333
    Darrell says:

    Indeed were that the case your roommate would have a civil tresspass cause of action against your guest.

    That doesnt sound right, even though Fledermaus has spent 3 years and passed a test on the subject. You mean to tell us that if one roomate doesn’t want his other roomate’s cousin in the house despite the wishes of one roomate that she be permitted to enter.. you’re telling us that one roomate’s wishes can overrule the other’s on this no matter what, or there is a cause of action for tresspassing??

    that, after 3 years and a big test?

  334. 334
    Darrell says:

    They’re also all irrelevant. The important part of that sentence is not “legitimate”, it is “private citizen”. What does Roberts think the Bill of Rights is, a guide to etiquette? Nooo… it’s a limitation on the power of the government.

    That’s actually a damn good point

  335. 335
    scs says:

    or anything, but once the cops got there they would probably tell them to leave or be arrested

    Well if that is the law, then that is the law. However, I will reserve judgement until I actually read some actual laws on the subject. If you know anything about laws, it’s that they can be interpreted in many different ways. Also about this, I will attempt to answer my own question.

    lack of clear indication of a crime in progress (which creates a timeliness to prevent harm situation).

    I would think a roommate telling a cop that she saw her roommate in presently in possession of iilegal substances in the house, which is a crime, is probable cause of a “crime in progress”. I would think that alone would give the cops the right to enter. Am I wrong?

  336. 336
    t. jasper parnell says:

    scs Says:
    “Am I wrong?”

    Odds are, yes.

  337. 337
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Of course I’m sure that depends on state law too. Do you have one law to link to that I can read?

    I would suggest that you Google it. TJP doesn’t do google after 8:00 pm.

  338. 338
    scs says:

    I would suggest that you Google it. TJP doesn’t do google after 8:00 pm.

    What are you his press agent now?

  339. 339
    Steve says:

    I actually have no idea what happens if two roommates disagree about having a guest over, but I’m pretty sure Souter’s majority opinion addressed that.

  340. 340
    t. jasper parnell says:

    IJG,
    I confess, I don’t follow.

    SCS,
    Please go read the dang thing.
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/.....4-1067.pdf

  341. 341
    ImJohnGalt says:

    TJG, just a bit of snark. I asked scs for a link last night, and she was too lazy too provide one. I found it annoying that she asked you to provide the same courtesy to her that she was unwilling to provide last night.

  342. 342
    t. jasper parnell says:

    IJG,
    I see. In this case, however, SSC request was for someone else. Personally, I would go to bed happy would she deal with the big issue: does the new rule makes sense given the facts of the matter, the scope of the courts powers, and the rule of rule making. Instead, it is a constant barrage of of how about this totally unrealted potential occurance. This aspect of her disordered discourse might explain why Roberts’ dissent is such a touchstone; it too is rambling, disjointed, and wholly beside the point.

  343. 343
    demimondian says:

    Look, the foundation of the entire concept of property is the right to exclude. That is it. There is no corresponding “right to invite people over”. Where there is one owner this is not an issue and so there appears to be a “right to invite people over” but in reality this is just not enforcing the right to exclude.

    Don’t tell Eban Moglin that.

  344. 344
    Kirk Spencer says:

    SCS, believe it or not the correct answer is “it depends.” One of the reasons I intentionally separated the husband and wife issue from my first explanation is the additional complications raised by spousal relationships.

    The “crime in progress” clause is one that’s frequently misunderstood. There are (IIRC, real attorneys welcome to correct) two principles involved – two tests that must be met to allow the effective disregard of warrant requirements. They are time and harm. Harm’s the most important one: Will the delay taken to obtain a warrant result in harm to the victim of the crime? Time’s not always applicable, but still is a test: Will the delay in attaining a warrant result in the crime being completed? In both the examples you gave the crime was possession. Harm is highly unlikely, and barring a rather tiny amount in the process of being used the timeliness issue it’s unlikely the situation is a matter of do it “now or never.” Thus I would TEND to believe a warrant was necessary. But…

    The advice I was given many years ago when I was in the field still applies, I think. “If you think this might need a warrant, get a warrant.”

  345. 345
    The Other Steve says:

    Can we ban scs yet?

  346. 346
    The Other Steve says:

    Whoa.. What’s this? Wait, could it be?

    http://people-press.org/report.....portID=273

    Oh my God. The Republican party is losing their wedge issues.

  347. 347
    scs says:

    Can we ban scs yet?

    Please. I’m loathe to be arrogant, but dep down you know I make the threads here. When I’m on, the thread counts spikes. Without me, you got nothing. Come on now, admit it. And without me and DougJ clones, well, then you REALLY got nothing!

  348. 348
    scs says:

    I actually have no idea what happens if two roommates disagree about having a guest over, but I’m pretty sure Souter’s majority opinion addressed that.

    Well Steve is supposed to be a lawyer. So if he doesn’t know, then who does? That implies to me that there must be legal interpretation involved in that, not so black and white.

  349. 349
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS is not especially bright and her consistent refusal to respond to posts that either answer the question she raises or show that her question is beside the point is endlessly annoying. But neither would seem to rise to the level of banning. I will say, however, that my conviction that careful explication of the facts of the matter can lead even the most resistant horse not only to water but to the conviction that a swig will stave off dehydration has suffered a blow. Imagine, however, how C. Wolff and his cohorts felt about the lady in white.

  350. 350
    nyrev says:

    Meanwhile in Vermont a child rapist was given 60 days by a judge who doesn’t believe punishment solves anything.

    “The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It just corrodes your soul,” said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom.

    Sorry, but that has liberal Democrat written all over it

    Oops. That would be Republican appointee and long time conservative Edward Cashman.

    On the plus side, the sentence has since been ammended to 3-10 years in prison and state-mandated psychiatric treatment.

  351. 351
    scs says:

    but once the cops got there they would probably tell them to leave or be arrested.

    Well Fledermaus, you might have to go back to lawschool. In the Supreme Court document, Souter writes this:

    No sensible person would en-ter shared premises based on one occupant抯 invitation when a fellow tenant said to stay out. Such reticence would show not timidity but a realization that when people living together disagree over the use of their common quarters, a resolution must come through voluntary accommodation, not by appeals to authority. Absent some recognized hierarchy, e.g., parent and child, there is no societal or legal under-standing of superior and inferior as between co-tenants. Pp.

    In other words, legal authorities don’t come in between roommates who disagree on who should enter the house. Souter just considers it a matter of sensibility. As the top Justice in the land, I hope he knows what he is talking about. Once again, I am right and you are all wrong. Man, it’s lonely at the top!

  352. 352
    scs says:

    And this is what Roberts says in the brief:

    The fact is that a wide variety of differing social situa-tions can readily be imagined, giving rise to quite different social expectations. A relative or good friend of one of two feuding roommates might well enter the apartment over the objection of the other roommate. The reason the in-vitee appeared at the door also affects expectations: A guest who came to celebrate an occupant抯 birthday, or one who had traveled some distance for a particular reason, might not readily turn away simply because of a room-mate抯 objection. The nature of the place itself is also pertinent: Invitees may react one way if the feuding roommates share one room, differently if there are com-mon areas from which the objecting roommate could read-ily be expected to absent himself. Altering the numbers 4 GEORGIA v. RANDOLPH ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting
    might well change the social expectations: Invitees might enter if two of three co-occupants encourage them to do so, over one dissenter.

    The possible scenarios are limitless, and slight varia-tions in the fact pattern yield vastly different expecta-tions about whether the invitee might be expected to enter or to go away. Such shifting expectations are not a promising foundation on which to ground a constitutional rule, particularly because the majority has no support for its basic assumption that an invited guest encountering two disagreeing co-occupants would flee beyond a hunch about how people would typically act in an atypical situation.

    If he is giving all these scenarios, it must be because he knows allowing people into a house against the roommates wishes are not against the law. As the guy has an seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of laws, I’m sure he also knows what he is talking about. I also think he makes the most sense.

  353. 353
    scs says:

    SCS is not especially bright and her consistent refusal to respond to posts that either answer the question she raises or show that her question is beside the point is endlessly annoying

    Hey, at least I’m not a computer generated post.

  354. 354
    Fred Fnord says:

    In other words, legal authorities don’t come in between roommates who disagree on who should enter the house.

    Actually, the two don’t follow. If someone says that there is no understanding of superior and inferior between two co-tenants, then you’re saying that neither one has any more power than the other. In the Constitution, there is an enumerated right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. Is it your claim that there is also a right, one with more precedence, to invite policemen into one’s home? Admittedly, rights don’t stack: you can’t measure one pile of rights and another pile of rights and say ‘this one is taller so it wins’. But it would seem to me that if one person declares his desire to exercise his right to use his shared property as he wishes, and another person vocally declares his desire to exercise the right to use his shared property as he wishes and the right to be safe in his home from unreasonable searches and seizures, then we ought to look pretty carefully before we decide that the first person’s rights should, in fact, trump the second’s.

    But hey, that’s just me.

    -fred

  355. 355
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    “Hey,” you write “at least I’m not a computer generated post.” Like so much you have written this has nothing what so ever to do with the point raised and, whatismore, it makes no sense.

    The Roberts’ argument quoted does not, as you must be aware, address the difference between the state and a private individual. Relatedly much like your many how about this scenarios it does not adress the facts of the matter in this case and the rule created by the opinion.

    It is, again, very simple two individuals with the right to refuse entrance disagree on allowing the state into their home; the disagreement which acts to protect the individual from the state wins. What is it about this that you either do not understand or to which you object? Is it your contention that the rule is in err because the state ought to be granted easier access to private spaces? Is it your contention that this rule violates someother compelling interest? Is it your contention that granting to the individual who wishes the right to retain his freedom from unwarranted search and seizure is unconstitutional? What is your substantive complaint about the rule?

  356. 356
    scs says:

    Okay, I will summarize this again before I get off this now over-done topic. Now that we have determined that a roommate has NO legal authority to forbid the entrance of another roommates’s guest, we now have the strange situation where a roommate can legally invite anyone inside his house who he wants to, except for a police officer. This is what the supposed greatest legal minds in the country came up with? Maybe that Ivy League degree didn’t help that much after all.

  357. 357
    r4d20 says:

    Better to burn for an hour on Earth than an Eternity in Hell.

    Freedom may be “cool” or “hip” but it tempts people to sin and damns their souls for eternity. What kind of Christian would simply sit back and allow people to be damned to an eternity of brutal torture without trying to save them? And what kind of person thinks we should even care what the non-Christians think?? After all False Gods = False Morality = Gay Marriage = Hurricane Katrina.

    Seriously. Nothing we can do to them on earth matches what they will get in hell. Christian Love demands we use any and all means necessary to save them from that fate.

  358. 358
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    A police officer is not a guest.

  359. 359
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    A citizen has the right to refuse the police entrance to their domicile absent a warrant.

  360. 360
    r4d20 says:

    Actually, that “Seriously” made it sound…well….serious. It wasn’t. Sarcasm all.

    Except for the “Gay Marriage = Hurricane Katrina”, butt that case can be made based on sound Meteorological principles and has nothing to do with God. It’s a matter of friction producing heat that warms the atmosphere – I’ll leave the source of the friction to your imagination.

  361. 361
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    If one citizen refuses the police entry to the shared domicle the police cannot enter.

  362. 362
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    Simple statements, to paraphrase Lance Armstrong, require simple refuation. Have you any?

  363. 363
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    Of course you do not. The issue here interests you not in the least. Why it does not is interesting and your refusal to address the issue is interesting.

  364. 364
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS,
    Why is it interesting, well because the lengths to which a fool will go to remain a fool are fascinating. Since the begining of this conversation all manner of reasonable, intelligent folks have endveavored to explain the scope and meaning of the rule in langauge clear and easy to digest. Yet you refuse to deal with the issue. Twisting and turning like some kind of an eel, you evaded, prevaricated, and misrepresented basic fact and clear meanings. Your summing up is as silly as it is beside the point. This “implies” to me that you are just not a serious person, which is a shame.

  365. 365
    scs says:

    t. jasper parnell, to be honest, I’m not too interested in dialoging with you because I don’t find your posts that notable. I don’t know if you’re a spoof or what, but I guess it doesn’t matter either way. Sorry if I’m not too interested in responding to you; however, I’m sure you will find others in this page who will engage with you. Good luck and good night.

  366. 366
    t. jasper parnell says:

    As, I hope, my final comment. Mr. Cole disgust with the drift of the Republicans and his seeming rejection of ideology as a means of guaging who ought and who ought not be elected is bracing and sign of better days to come, for those of us who reject ideology’s efficacy.

  367. 367
    Rome Again says:

    Seriously. Nothing we can do to them on earth matches what they will get in hell. Christian Love demands we use any and all means necessary to save them from that fate.

    r4d20, I think you somehow got on the wrong thread. By the way, I’ve been doing some study of Isaiah, and in Isaiah I’ve found reason to believe that:

    1. Christians worship a false god (but that’s okay, I personally won’t hold it against you, although Isaiah’s God – and mine – probably will)
    2. We’re already in Hell

    Want some interesting reading?
    As the Angel of the LORD: Treacherous Dealers and the Imitation House of David

    Also, check out the other articles on this site, especially the links to his Isaiah commentary, very interesting. I spend a lot of time on this site, although I don’t believe everything this guy says, he does have a very diffent and interesting perspective.
    The Proven Truth

  368. 368
    merlallen says:

    What turned me off of the Republican Party is the attitude that if you’re not a Republican, and don’t march in lockstep with them and agree 100% with everything they do you are a traitor.
    Sounds more like Fascism than Democracy to me.
    People like gop4me come to mind.
    And what kind of an American would sign a loyalty oath in order to attend a campaign event?

  369. 369
    Rome Again says:

    Since the begining of this conversation all manner of reasonable, intelligent folks have endveavored to explain the scope and meaning of the rule in langauge clear and easy to digest. Yet you refuse to deal with the issue. Twisting and turning like some kind of an eel, you evaded, prevaricated, and misrepresented basic fact and clear meanings. Your summing up is as silly as it is beside the point. This “implies” to me that you are just not a serious person, which is a shame.

    What I got out of the whole thing was that scs seemed to want to believe Roberts’ points of dissent were part of the prevailing decision.

  370. 370
    scs says:

    What I got out of the whole thing was that scs seemed to want to believe Roberts’ points of dissent were part of the prevailing decision.

    So Rome, does your wife agree with your point of view on this court ruling?

  371. 371
    Al Maviva says:

    Jasper, you are right. The syllabus – for all the precedential value that’s worth – mentions in the first line that the couple were estranged. I should have written more carefully and said “estranged, or similar terms.”

    The opinion, in the first sentence, does state:

    Respondent Scott Randolph and his wife, Janet, separated in late May 2001

    Hmm. Separated. That’s within “estranged.” The next sentence is:

    though the record does not reveal whether her object was reconciliation or retrieval of remaining possessions.

    Hmmm. If you are reconciling… I guess that means you must be estranged. Can’t reconcile unless you’ve been estranged, unless you are an accountant. The next sentence states that she told police:

    after a domestic dispute her husband took their son away

    Hmmm. In the midst of a domestic dispute that’s escalated to parental kidnapping. It might be loose usage, but I would have considered that within the notion of estrangement. The next sentence states:

    She mentioned the marital problems and said that she and their son had only recently returned after a stay of several weeks with her parents. . .

    Souter does use various synonyms and descriptions of estrangement in four out of the first five sentences of Part I, the brief factual summary of the case. Insofar as the statement of facts, particularly the first few paragraphs, frame a case, I would have concluded that the couple’s fighting is highly relevant to the decision. Tell me I’m wrong, and show me where I’m missing the transcendant privacy principles elucidated (or perhaps discovered, in light of prior decisions) by this opinion. I obviously don’t buy it and think this is another instance of “judicial minimalism,” to phrase it charitably, and I think it’s carelessly decided and will lead to problems for the cops (“before we come in, do you have exclusive right of control over this apartment?”) and ultimately to a ridiculous Buie-like exception that swallows another chunk of the warrant requirement, but I’m open to being convinced. FWIW, I think the Buie-like exception will be an evanescent evidence or “reasonable belief to danger of persons” “exception” which will be a laughably easy threshold to meet, but hey, that’s just me, the guy who thinks the Terry standard is a nullity.

  372. 372
    t. jasper parnell says:

    SCS writes “So Rome, does your wife agree with your point of view on this court ruling?” What has this to do with anything? It is so beside the point, so infantile, and so much a non sequitor that it really does defy belief. Stick to a or the point, at least seek to make one. All the energy spent twisting and turning might be harnessed to learning.

  373. 373
    scs says:

    Hey, Rome I was just curious. I remember you bringing up your wife a lot in past posts.

  374. 374
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Al Maviva
    Show me where in the opinion the strained nature of the relationship played a role in crafting the rule. Were they to ignore facts of the matter when laying out the rational?

  375. 375
    t. jasper parnell says:

    (“before we come in, do you have exclusive right of control over this apartment?”) Is this not a red herring? Was not the point made that someone had to be there denying access? Is it the court’s purpose to make things easy for the police? And so on

  376. 376

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

    John Cole has had his delusions shattered: The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods, and the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistribu…

  377. 377
    Patterico says:

    “Caveat: I haven’t read the SCOTUS’s decision . . .”

    That’s your problem right there. Hint: it’s already linked in my post you criticized. If you had read it, you would have known that the majority, not Roberts, made the analogy between police and houseguests. Roberts was simply criticizing the logic.

  378. 378
    Steve says:

    I obviously don’t buy it and think this is another instance of “judicial minimalism,” to phrase it charitably, and I think it’s carelessly decided and will lead to problems for the cops (“before we come in, do you have exclusive right of control over this apartment?”) and ultimately to a ridiculous Buie-like exception that swallows another chunk of the warrant requirement, but I’m open to being convinced.

    To give Souter the benefit of the doubt, I think what he was trying to accomplish is that if there is a co-tenant standing at the door, vehemently denying consent, he thinks that puts the cops on notice that there is an issue and they should go no further. In all other cases, the cops are entitled to accept the consent of whoever is present, they don’t have to go scrounging around to see if anyone else feels like objecting.

    Whether he accomplished what he set out to do, I’m not sure. I am with you that the long line of criminal procedure cases, identifying nuance after nuance to distinguish one situation from another, gives the cops little real guidance. But I do think if you drew the bright-line rule that says “consent by one occupant is good enough, period, no matter if anyone else objects,” you could probably get into a lot of egregious situations that way too.

  379. 379
    The Other Steve says:

    And what kind of an American would sign a loyalty oath in order to attend a campaign event?

    Someone with no self respect.

    I just can’t imagine anything like that. Even if I loved the guy and really wanted to see him, there’s no way I would sign something like that.

    It just sounds so Leninist…

  380. 380
    The Other Steve says:

    Speaking of which.

    200 people in Belarus arrested because they weren’t loyal enough.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11982907/

  381. 381
    notanumber says:

    Welcome aboard the U.S.S. Tinfoil Hat! As a former Perot supporter, I’ve watched in amazement as the budget, the deficit, and borrowing have gone through the stratosphere- all while the “fiscal hawks” have repeatedly attacked the Treasure and redistributed wealth from the middle class to the wealthy.

    The growth in the federal government has never been so brisk, the selling off of Public assets is at an all time high, and corruption is rampant. States Rights have been nothing but assaulted by a Republican-led Congress. The ultra-conservatives will soon dictate that the Federal Government can tell you what you can or can’t do with your body- and whether or not you call it “Pro Life…” it will be precedence (don’t think of bio-chips or China’s use of the exact same centralized power to force abortions- no irony intended).

    The neo-liberal trade policies of Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and this Bush have utterly failed and are now, thankfully, in their twilight. But worse than the fiscal corruption and pathetic pork-laden legislation is the attack on the Judiciary- which is an attack on the very principle that makes America’s Constitution so brilliant- Separation of Powers (Rober Byrd’s book “Losing America” explores this quite well).

    As a Bush appointed member of the “far left,” the stagflation, stagnation, and economic malaise of the Carter years (caused by paying for Vietnam) is coming back soon (with a vengence) and the middle class will need to be positioned to do damage control.

    Join the “far left” and start working in support of run-off voting, publicly funded campaigns, and removing “personhood” from corporations. Otherwise, get used to these bullshit Supreme Court rulings- they are the ultimate fruits of modern day Republicanism (Bush or Clinton- the brand doesn’t matter much)… And oh yeah: This ruling is just the start- You ain’t seen nothing, yet.

  382. 382
    Rick says:

    Darrell:

    Re: Schiavo

    Have you read the Florida statute that applies to this case?

    765.401 The proxy.–

    (1) If an incapacitated or developmentally disabled patient has not executed an advance directive, or designated a surrogate to execute an advance directive, or the designated or alternate surrogate is no longer available to make health care decisions, health care decisions may be made for the patient by any of the following individuals, in the following order of priority, if no individual in a prior class is reasonably available, willing, or competent to act:

    (a) The judicially appointed guardian of the patient or the guardian advocate of the person having a developmental disability as defined in s. 393.063, who has been authorized to consent to medical treatment, if such guardian has previously been appointed; however, this paragraph shall not be construed to require such appointment before a treatment decision can be made under this subsection;

    (b) The patient’s spouse;

    (c) An adult child of the patient, or if the patient has more than one adult child, a majority of the adult children who are reasonably available for consultation;

    (d) A parent of the patient;

    (remainder of statute omitted)

    Michael Schiavo was both the legal guardian and the spouse of Terri Schiavo, nos. 1 and 2 in priority. Her parents were priority no. 4.

    He is not a man who breaks his promise to his wife and abandons her to the fate that her parents wanted to maintain. The autopsy confirmed she was in PVS, blind and was NEVER going to wake up.

    And do some research, you fucking moron, because people “starve to death” in hospices every fucking day in this country. It’s called dying, one of the two certanties.

    And it wasn’t about Terri, it was about energizing the religious base, at the expense of state’s rights. Remember state’s rights? They’re another former conservative principle?

    Smarten up, your dumbass is showing.

  383. 383
    Al says:

    I (through the offices of AG Clinton) am going to have a wicked good time 1)warrentless searches 2)national security letters 3)my newly improved terrorist & republican operative detection program – the software guys say it would cost too much to delink the search 4)indefinite imprisonment of US citizens 5)banning the two stroke engine
    Good days ahead my friends good days

  384. 384
    Santa Claus says:

    Why are you people pissing and moaning about your privacy rights so much? It’s not like you’ve ever really had any to begin with. My legion of spies and elves has been spying on you, your children, and your ancestors’s children (who are also your ancestors, presumably) since the Fourth century A.D. Yet I’ve never heard a soul bitch and moan about the infringement on their privacy when Legolas sneaks into their bedroom.

    You people are fucking hypocrites, and most of you listened to too much NWA and Public Enemy growing up. Just because people have told you not to trust the police doesn’t mean that THEIR infringement of your right to privacy is any more egregious than mine. You think Elrond gets a search warrant before he wiretaps your bathroom? You think he worries about getting your roommate’s consent before he checks under your mattress for nudie mags? Guess again, you simpleton liberal rubes! You’re worried about some right you’ve never had, and will never have, unless you were to win the War on Christmas and banish me entirely. Good luck fighting that fight, assholes, your own children will rip you apart before you succeed. No one can ever defeat Santa!

    Ho ho ho, bitches.

  385. 385
    rapier says:

    You hit the nail on the head when you used the word statist.

    Compare the statism of liberals vs conservatives. Liberals wanted to use the power of the Federal government to deny states the power to deprive citizens the rights of citizenship. From this sprang the absurd idea that liberals were the true statists and conservatives were for individual rights. States rights became a buzzword devoid of all meaning during the civil rights era. On it’s face the States Rights crowd were foresquare in favor of the rights of the state to have massive powers over whole classes of individuals. It is simply semantics to try and define a state as different than the Federal government in any broad sense when discussing governmental power at its most basic level.

    Most broadly liberalism attempts to give the most rights to the largest number of people. If that means you can’t deny blacks entry into your resturant under penalty of law then your not as free as you may want to be but hundreds more have been granted freedom.

    The national security state is statism writ large and while many of its authors were liberals its power has come under total control of ‘conservatives’. Conservatives who want nothing less than absolute power over, in a very real sense, the entire world.

    Libertarianism is at best an ideal.(at worst it’s utopianism) It has far more in common with liberalism, especially in the traditional sense than it ever has with conservativism. Both liberals and conservatives can be labeled statists but the statism of ‘conservatives’ has progressed to such an extent that it now borders facism.

  386. 386
    ChristieS says:

    Steve Says:

    “that the Republicans support state security strongly over individual rights is not new”

    There is one major party that has historically stuck up for your right to own a gun in case the government’s jackbooted thugs show up to invade your rights in the name of “state security,” and that party sure wasn’t the Democrats!

    Yep, and just in case my daughter is ever raped and requires an abortion, I plan to have my weapons ready when the state comes and tries to arrest her.

  387. 387
    Krista says:

    Legolas sneaks into their bedroom.

    If he looks anything like depicted in the movie, he can sneak into my bedroom anytime, thank you very much.

  388. 388
    ppGaz says:

    Okay, the one-day honeymoon is over.

    When will BJ address the Rahman case? The endless torrent of bullshit about the prospects of stable liberal democracy in places like Afghanistan and Iraq is put to the lie by this shocking case.

    For how long will the bone-smoking apologists on the right continue to claim that “freedom” is on the march in Islam thanks to the messianic policies of the NeNutjob government in Washington, DC?

  389. 389

    The Republican party is one of reactionary statism

  390. 390
    Tim F. says:

    When will BJ address the Rahman case?

    I already did.

  391. 391
    ppGaz says:

    Point taken, Tim. I had skipped that thread.

    No offense. No particular reason, just time management.

  392. 392
    Larry says:

    Perry Como Says:
    Since we I seem to be making shit up as we go along

    There, that’s better.

  393. 393
    Rome Again says:

    scs said:

    So Rome, does your wife agree with your point of view on this court ruling?

    and

    Hey, Rome I was just curious. I remember you bringing up your wife a lot in past posts.

    Really scs? That’s funny, because I don’t have a wife, I have a HUSBAND though. And yes, he does agree with my point of view. He even agreed so far as saying that if the woman in this case allowed the police in to search the man’s property, the cocaine she expected them to find could have been planted by her. I agree.

    Please only take this as constructive criticism and not as an insult (I don’t mean it as an insult, really) but you need to spend less time acting like you know something (like that I talk a lot about my wife) and open your mind to learning scs, accepting different ideas with gray areas included. It will make you a better person.

  394. 394
    Rome Again says:

    You’re worried about some right you’ve never had, and will never have, unless you were to win the War on Christmas and banish me entirely. Good luck fighting that fight, assholes, your own children will rip you apart before you succeed. No one can ever defeat Santa!

    Is this what you do in your off-season? I would have never guessed.

  395. 395
    scs says:

    Really scs? That’s funny, because I don’t have a wife, I have a HUSBAND

    Okay it was a trick question, but you passed. Have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat out DJ I guess.

  396. 396
    Santa Claus says:

    Is this what you do in your off-season? I would have never guessed.

    It’s a looooon year between Decembers, Rome. I have to do SOMETHING to pass the time:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/33868

  397. 397
    Perry Como says:

    Defend. Attack. Continue. Contrition.

    Can someone hand me a cigar?

  398. 398
    Lex says:

    John, from a longtime Republican, welcome (back, I presume) to the Enlightenment-based community.

  399. 399

    […] In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ‘traditional’ marriage deserve protection. According to the actions of the current Republican party, the rest of us need to be wiretapped, monitored, have our homes inspected for whatever reason without warrants, and are incapable of making decisions on our own. […]

  400. 400
    Inactivist says:

    Bush: “empty vessel filled with equal parts Rove and Rousseau”

    Some traditional conservatives and libertarians alike have been sending out a clarion call regarding the baleful effect of George W. Bush and his contemporary, populist Republic Party on our nation. Penning an essay recently in Washington Monthly, Jeffrey

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Inactivist says:

    Bush: “empty vessel filled with equal parts Rove and Rousseau”

    Some traditional conservatives and libertarians alike have been sending out a clarion call regarding the baleful effect of George W. Bush and his contemporary, populist Republic Party on our nation. Penning an essay recently in Washington Monthly, Jeffrey

  2. […] In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ‘traditional’ marriage deserve protection. According to the actions of the current Republican party, the rest of us need to be wiretapped, monitored, have our homes inspected for whatever reason without warrants, and are incapable of making decisions on our own. […]

  3. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

    John Cole has had his delusions shattered: The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods, and the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistribu…

  4. Modulator says:

    The Republican Way

    John Cole’s description is pretty accurate:The right wing of the Republican party has sold the libertarian/centrist wing of the party a bill of goods, and the modern ‘conservatives’ are clearly nothing more than statists who, rather than redistrib…

  5. […] John Cole has completed his renunciation of the light and his embrace of darkness. It is not a pretty sight to behold: In the new Republican era, only fetuses , tax shelters, and ‘traditional’ marriage deserve protection. According to the actions of the current Republican party, the rest of us need to be wiretapped, monitored, have our homes inspected for whatever reason without warrants, and are incapable of making decisions on our own. My 20 year affair with the Republican party is coming to an end. I am not voting for any Republican in 2006 at any level, and I will be hard pressed to vote for this party in 2008- unless, of course, Cindy Sheehan is the Democratic candidate. These ‘conservatives’ need abut 10-15 years in the wilderness. […]

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