Posts Tagged 4th Amendment
In a decision guaranteed to bring outraged barons all over America to the defense of their castles, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled, in the course of one week, that 1) you don’t have the right to block a policeman from entering your home without a warrant, and 2) they don’t need to knock to serve the warrant. (Moat, Mr. President? Did someone say, “moat?”)
In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer’s entry.
This is the second major Indiana Supreme Court ruling this week involving police entry into a home.
On Tuesday, the court said police serving a warrant may enter a home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it. Prior to that ruling, police serving a warrant would have to obtain a judge’s permission to enter without knocking.
This is what happens when you peel legal education free from Blackstone, Maine, Marshall, and Story. I’m not even an attorney, but I’ve been to Runnymede and seen the Magna Carta monument there, and I can tell you that it’s going to take some Olympic-worthy mental gymnastics to turn overturning 800 years of English Common law precedent into solemn respect for stare decisis.
Now, we all remember when President Obama decided to use the State of the Union Address not only to berate the Supreme Court justices in attendance over the Citizens United ruling, but to encourage the Democrat members of Congress to rise in thunderous applause, surrounding those justices with their own reprimand.
This case should provide an opportunity for a prospective President Mitch Daniels to find a statesmanlike way to rectify this situation without sending out the landed gentry to hold their swords to the Indiana justices’ necks.
He does have some options.