Pubdate: Fri, 08 Dec 2000
Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)
Copyright: 2000 Denver Publishing Co.
Contact:  400 W. Colfax, Denver, CO 80204
Author: Roger M. Hogan


Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for 
the government/police to stop automobiles and subject them to a 
search by drug-detecting dogs, without any reason for suspicion. The 
six justices who voted for the rights of the citizens believe the 
Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches means what 
it says, and that it is unreasonable to subject a citizen to a search 
without cause.

The three justices who voted against individual rights and for more 
government/police power were Chief Justice William Rehnquist and 
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The "crime" in this case 
was not even a crime against person or property, but only a 
victimless crime instituted by the government. But these three 
justices have such little regard for the Bill of Rights that they 
were ready to discard it in order to increase the power of the 
government and its enforcement arm, the police.

During the recent presidential campaign, George W. Bush was asked 
about Supreme Court appointments. He cited Scalia and Thomas as 
justices he admired, and implied that he would appoint more in that 
mold. Consequently, after President Bush's first two appointments to 
the Supreme Court, that 6-3 majority in favor of the Constitution and 
citizens could very easily become a 5-4 majority in favor of the 

Unfortunately for us, because Supreme Court justices are appointed 
for life, it may take a generation to restore the court to one that 
respects for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
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