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Unbelievable: Indiana Court Overturns Right to Resist Illegal Entry

 
 
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Remember the Revolutionary War? One of the many reasons it happened was because British soldiers, under British rule, were allowed to search and seize colonists' homes using broad warrants, and American colonists had virtually no right to resistance. When the so-called 'writs of assistance' were challenged in a 1754 court, a Boston lawyer named James Otis represented the colonists pro bono, and gave a speech that a then-25-year-old John Adams later called 'the spark in which originated the American Revolution." In 1791, the Fourth Amendment, protecting citizens against unlawful search and seizure, was added to the Constitution, but the concept of privacy in one's home actually dated back to a 1604 common law.

Which is to say the Indiana Supreme Court's new ruling is archaic by at least 400 years, and undermines one of the most important aspects of the Bill of Rights. The Chicago Tribune:

People have no right to resist if police officers illegally enter their home, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a decision that overturns centuries of common law.

The court issued its 3-2 ruling on Thursday, contending that allowing residents to resist officers who enter their homes without any right would increase the risk of violent confrontation. If police enter a home illegally, the courts are the proper place to protest it, Justice Steven David said.

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

Modern, as in 1603? Modern, as in pre-Revolutionary War colonial rule? Well, sure:

Finally, lest there be any question as to what the Indiana Supreme Court meant to do, it stated “In sum, we hold that [in] Indiana the right to reasonably resist an unlawful police entry into a home is no longer recognized under Indiana law.”

This is clearly outrageous and clearly unconstitutional, but it gets even worse; in a different ruling last week, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that 'police serving a warrant may enter a home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it. Previously, police serving a warrant had to obtain a judge's permission to enter without knocking.'

Let's hope all the purported Constitution-loving Republicans pile on this one, because it so clearly attacks an essential desire of the Founding Fathers, it's sickening.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at May 14, 2011, 5:59am