Thursday, March 23, 2006

And so it begins

We've had our first disturbing look at the thought processes of least radical of Bush's two supreme court nominees. Roberts wrote the dissenting (thank god) opinion in a case about warrantless searches.

Basically, the question was whether or not you lose the right to be free from warrantless searches of your home if someone you live with decides to waive that right. If the police come to your door wanting to search your apartment, without a warrant, and your roommate says yes and you say no, then, the court ruled, the police need to get a warrant to search the apartment. This makes complete sense - your roommate shouldn't have the right to take your constitutional freedoms away from you any more than the police should.

But Roberts apparently disagrees. His point is basically that requiring the police to get a warrant in this case makes it harder on the police. Well, duh. That's kind of the point - you don't want it to be easy for police to search your home without a warrant. Why does he think that provision against unreasonable search and siezure was put into the Constitution in the first place? But more disturbing, Roberts seems to be of the mindset that removing an inconvenience to a police officer - forcing him to go talk to a judge before coming in - trumps you being able to exercise your constitutional freedoms.

Remember - there are times in one's life when you don't really choose who you live with, like that first college dorm roommate. Think back to all the people you've lived with over your life, and ask yourself if you would be willing to let all of them be the custodians of your personal freedoms. Yeah, that's what I thought. That dysfunctional idiot you lived with for five months back when you were a college sophomore is not a good judge of your best interests.

What does Roberts have to say about that? Hey, "sharing space entails risk." Yes it does, but one of those risks shouldn't be that you waive the right to your constitutionally-protected freedoms.

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