Stab and slice interpretations of the United States Constitution are threatening American citizens daily, and the most recent is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which decided earlier this week that cops no longer need to secure a warrant before searching a vehicle.
The incident surrounding this verdict involves a 2010 traffic stop in which the Philadelphia police pulled over a vehicle for having a dark window tint, and later discovered two pounds of marijuana stashed under the hood.
The Fourth Amendment is supposed to prohibit law enforcement officers from conducting “unreasonable search and seizures.” This right is forfeited, however, if police see evidence of illegal substances in plaint sight or if the driver consents to a search. However, based on the opinion of the PA justices, an officer only needs to establish reasonable probable cause to conduct a search without a warrant.
However, Supreme Court Justice Debra McCloskey Todd does not support the opinion of the justice majority, stating that decision “heedlessly contravenes over 225 years of unyielding protection against unreasonable search and seizure, which our people have enjoyed as their birthright.” It is “diametrically contrary to the deep historical and legal traditions” of the state of Pennsylvania, she added.
Legal experts are worried that the court’s ruling has opened the door for a governmental stranglehold that could reduce the rights of the American citizen. “It’s an expanding encroachment of government power,” said Pennsylvania attorney Jeffrey Conrad. “It’s a protection we had two days ago, that we don’t have today. It’s disappointing from a citizens’ rights perspective.”
Attorney Christopher Patterson, added, “that we are on a slippery slope that will eliminate personal privacy and freedom in the name of expediency for law enforcement.”
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.