A Bit of Good News… Well, Sort Of
Eric Peters Autos
January 23, 2012
Sometimes, we get a lucky break. The same Supreme Court that routinely tramples the Constitution once in awhile stops mid-stomp, as if by dint of some atavistic recollection of the liberty it was charged to uphold – kind of like a wife beater who realizes he maybe hit the old gal once too much this time.
So, here’s what happened:
The Nine ruled on Monday in U.S. v. Jones (PDF here) that planting a GPS tracking device on a person’s car without a valid court order constitutes an illegal search and therefore violates the Fourth Amendment. Which is wonderful – and right – except it’s the exception that violates the rule.
This same Supreme Court has also ruled that’s it’s a-ok to stop motorists without a warrant or court order or even the thinnest pretext of probable cause and subject them to searches. Literally. Their actual bodies. By declining to even hear the case of Wisconsin v. Faust back in 2005, a case challenging the constitutionality of non-consensual blood draws at roadside sobriety checkpoints, the court affirmed this odious practice. On top of the equally odious prior precedent legalizing random stops on the basis of “compelling state interest” and something called “implied consent.”