The Erosion of Our Fourth Amendment

We responded to the outrageous Indiana Supreme Court decision last week through a press release posted to our facebook page. We stand corrected as it appears that the fourth amendment was actually gutted in 1974.

Justice Rucker, writing in dissent:

“The Court of Appeals reached this same conclusion over three decades ago. [A] private citizen may not use force in resisting an peaceful arrest by an individual who he knows , or has reason to know, is a police officer performing his duties regardless of whether the arrest in question is lawful or unlawful.” Williams vs State, 311 N.E.2d 619, 621 (Ind Ct. App. 1974)

So we stand corrected as we actually lost our basic right to resist unlawful arrest long ago. That doesn’t temper our incense in the least however, and even though this ruling is based on a precedence set in 1974, the formal extension and precedent of this ruling to include one’s home, further marks the march to tyranny.

It is hard to understand how much clearer Article 1, section 11 of the Indiana Constitution could be:

“Section 11. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.”

The following words of the majority in the ruling are chilling and ominous to those who believe in personal liberty and individual rights:

“Now this court is faced for the first time with the question of whether Indiana should recognize the common-law right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers. We conclude that public policy disfavors any such right.”

In a Libertarian’s eyes, this further and apparently complete, erosion of our 4th Amendment rights is another milepost on the march to tyranny. Add it to the long list that includes asset forfeiture theft, no knock warrants, the use of deadly force, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and many others – ad nausea.

Without a doubt, with this ruling the State has declared it’s impunity and ability to operate in contempt of the rule of law. It should be easily understood that the State doesn’t consider that we are the Masters of our own homes. And once again we are reminded that the State’s agents have the attitude that they can operate however they want, whenever they want, wherever they want – lawfully or unlawfully. It bears pointing out here that someone acting unlawfully is properly defined as a criminal, government agent or not.

Even though we were in error on the actual time line of the devolution of the 4th amendment, we are no less incensed at the further slide into tyranny that this ruling marks. This should not be a surprise as we value individual liberty and believe that the mandated role of Government is as protector of individual liberty, not a tyrant that can act above and outside the law.

There is some solace in that at least one Justice shares our view point. Justice Robert Rucker closes his dissent with these remarks:

“In my view it is breathtaking that the majority deems it appropriate or even necessary to erode this constitutional protection based on a rationale addressing much different policy considerations. There is simply no reason to abrogate the common law rights of a citizen to resist the unlawful police entry into his or her home.”

The first of the three Justices voting in the majority up for retention ballot is Justice David in 2012. Justice Sullivan’s current term expires in 2016, and Chief Justice Shepard’s in 2018. We hope you will join us in voting NO on their retentions when the opportunity avails itself.

Be sure to visit our website and sign up for our newsletter to stay abreast of our efforts to combat tyranny. As well, we hope that this ruling serves as a clarion call to those who share our values and that they will join us in our efforts to restore individual liberty as a paramount principle in not only our government, but society. Now is the time to act for liberty.

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