Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Unlawful Seach and Seizure

Hi all! :)

I've been doing some research on this Judge Roberts that President Bush nominated last night.

Imagine something with me. You are sitting on the bus with some fast food in your lap. You reach into and nibble on a french fry. Suddenly you are arrested, hand-cuffed and searched. Your shoelaces are taken away from you. You are finger-printed and detained. Now imagine you are 12 years old while all this is going on.

This is what happened to a 12 year old girl riding a Washington DC Bus. Apparently the city had a zero tolerance policy on french fries.

Judge Roberts said that the policy was not a violation of this young girl's rights. The fourth amendment says, in part, that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, . . . " I don't know if eating a french fry makes an unreasonable search reasonable. But Mr. Roberts apparently does. He ruled that the girl had not had her rights trampled on.

Mr. Roberts thinks that this would not have been seen as an unreasonable search when the constitution was adopted (in 1791), so it shouldn't be seen as an unreasonable search now. Well there's lots of things that were seen as normal in 1791 that wouldn't be seen as normal now! Like Slavery, for example. If you want to read his decision in this case,
here it is.

Anyway, I haven't made up my mind on Roberts yet, but this doesn't look very good to me.

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