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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Does this scare you? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

panlives
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"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
MobilityBundle
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Am I scared that government authorities charged with enforcing the law can enter my home and temporarily detain me in the course of executing a search warrant issued by a competent court?

No.

Does the gradual erosion of the Fourth Amendment scare me? Not yet.

Does it concern me? Yes. Well, not in my personal capacity. I don't break the law, and I consider the likelihood that my Fourth Amendment rights will be tested to be sufficiently low to not be scared.

But as a responsible citizen, yeah. It's something to keep an eye on. We're not in "be afraid, be very afraid" territory yet though, at least in my opinion.
landmark
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MobilityBundle
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Regarding the second story:

Again, I don't see the outrage.

The cops made a mistake. They should be held accountable for the mistake, for sure. The Adams' have the basis of a wonderful negligence suit against the FBI, assuming there are no immunity issues. (The government, including its agents, are immune from suit unless they consent. The consent for a large class of suits against the government is statutory; for example, the Federal Tort Claims Act. There are other exceptions, but it's been too long for me.)

And if for some reason the FBI is immune from suit, then the Adams' have a tough road. Perhaps they can make enough of a political issue out of it that the immunity is stripped. Otherwise, not.

But this is not a Fourth Amendment issue. The Fourth Amendment does not require the government to be infallible.

Now, if the cops mistakenly busted in to the wrong house, and then saw a bunch of marijuana plants and arrested the Adams', then that's a much more interesting question: whether the mistake in executing the original warrant precludes the Adams' arrest. But I'll wait for that "raw story."
landmark
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We're talking about the day to day here. The FBI makes huge mistakes which affect innocent people. Now we're diluting the Constitution so that they can have leeway to make more mistakes with no consequences?
MobilityBundle
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The Constitution has never, ever been the vehicle to address mistakes of negligence made by authorities. No matter how permissive or restrictive the Constitution is on state action, there is always the possibility that state actors will make a mistake. If one is harmed by those mistakes, then they can seek to be made whole under traditional theories of negligence, etc.

And if the state keeps making mistakes, then it eventually rises to something politically actionable.
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