A new SCOTUS ruling poses a threat to Americans’ constitutional rights, a Supreme Court justice warns. The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that police can use evidence they obtained illegally against a defendant in court. illegal search is now validated across America. SCOTUS has one job. Uphold the consttitution. Not bend it out of shape to suit the judge's own political beliefs. Who appointed these traitors.
Salon: One of the four liberal Supreme Court justices — Stephen Breyer, who was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994 — joined hands with the conservative justices in support of the ruling.
The justices voted five-to-three in favor of a lawbreaking police officer in Utah v. Strieff, a drug-related case involving a Utah man.
Police spied on a South Salt Lake City home after receiving an anonymous tip about drug activity. When Joseph Edward Strieff, the defendant in the case, walked out of the house, a police detective illegally stopped him, questioned him and checked his name in a police database.
The State of Utah conceded that this stop was illegal. Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted that the police “officer did not suspect that Strieff had done anything wrong. Strieff just happened to be the first person to leave a house that the officer thought might contain ‘drug activity.'”
Yet the police officer saw that Strieff had a “small traffic warrant.” He therefore arrested Strieff and illegally searched him, finding methamphetamine in his pocket. Utah subsequently charged Strieff with illegal drug possession.
Strieff’s attorney argued that allowing police to use these illegally obtained drugs as evidence in court would effectively permit them to continue with such illegal searches in the future. The Utah Supreme Court unanimously agreed. But the Supreme Court ruled against it.
Sotomayor warned in a scathing dissent that the ruling jeopardizes Americans’ constitutional rights, and will disproportionately hurt people of color.
“The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights,” she wrote.
The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures.
“Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants — even if you are doing nothing wrong,” Sotomayor said.
“If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant,” she added.
“Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct, I dissent.”
Sotomayor’s dissent was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Elena Kagan also filed a dissent.
Clarence Thomas, the most right-wing Supreme Court justice, supported the ruling, arguing that it does not violate the Fourth Amendment.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS