Since we know Obama and his criminal Dept of Justice is scouring for any precedents to continue his grand march to control every aspect of our life, this little reported story raises an alarming Supreme Court decision. Ever hear of “Administrative warrants”? I haven’t. Something we will be hearing more about. It gives the local governments the authority apparently to ignore Probable Cause to enter one’s home and complete a search if one lives in an apartment. The first step.
For more try Wired: We Don’t Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena
Meet the administrative subpoena (.pdf): With a federal official’s signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation. Via a wide range of laws, Congress has authorized the government to bypass the Fourth Amendment — the constitutional guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that requires a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge.
In fact, there are roughly 335 federal statutes on the books (.pdf) passed by Congress giving dozens upon dozens of federal agencies the power of the administrative subpoena, according to interviews and government reports. (.pdf)
Here we go:
There can be no rest when it comes to defending constitutional rights. Government at every level constantly chips away at the fundamental principle that Americans should just be left alone if they’re not doing anything wrong.
Busybodies accept no such limit on what they can do. The city of Red Wing, Minn., adopted a city ordinance authorizing local bureaucrats to barge into the home of anyone who happens to be a renter. The purported intent was to identify building code violations — in the name of safety, naturally. The regulation even specified “containers, drawers, or medicine cabinets” could not be opened and their contents examined unless “reasonably necessary.” Once these nosy civil servants started having a look around, they didn’t identify serious, life-threatening flaws in crumbling buildings. Instead, they took note of missing doorstops and dirty stovetops, situations for which they demanded correction.
The sticking point is Camara v. Municipal Court, a 45-year-old U.S. Supreme Court precedent giving the green light to the concept of “administrative warrants” that serve as a blank check for local governments to ignore the requirement that searches be based on some kind of probable cause. This dismal ruling allows municipalities in more than a dozen states to snoop inside rental units hunting for trivial violations, but the Minnesota case represents the first legal challenge to reach a state’s high court. That’s not surprising since, on their own, renters aren’t going to have the resources needed to mount what, here, has been a seven-year battle.
This is a fight that needs to be won, because the country has been headed in the wrong direction for far too long. “The Fourth Amendment has been changing into just a protection for criminals against finding evidence of their crimes instead of what it was meant to be: a protection for the innocent in their privacy to just lead their own lives,” Ms. Berliner told The Washington Times. “The purpose is to protect ordinary, law-abiding citizens and that has been lost.”
Read more: Washington Times