By Dan A. Mefford, D.C.
September 12, 2011
September 12, 2011
As I write this it is the “The Day After” 9/11. I discussed last evening with a friend that the all important difference that makes America an “exceptional” country is the observation of fundamental rights as a birth right. We have the only country I know of that has ever had this difference other than, perhaps, ancient Israel before the kings. That all important difference was conceived, calculated, and brought about through the guiding principles studied by the Founders. The difference is that the Founders recognized individual fundamental rights. These rights are received at conception or birth, depending on how you look at it. All the other countries operate on the principle that rights are granted by government. Only the ruler or sovereign had all rights. We know that what the government ‘granteth’ the government can take away. What the Creator grants no government has a right to take away.
The Founders recognized that natural rights represent the difference between a free man and a subject or slave. A subject or slave can do only that which is permitted by the sovereign or master. The Founders wanted the People to be free in every sense that was possible. Their basic thought process was that liberty was a right of the People but that the People could grant certain powers to the government and beyond those bounds government could not go.
The government formed by the People was a Republic which in the case of the USA was designed using a constitution, a form of contract or trust, which spells out the powers granted to the new government. It directed that representation was chosen democratically. The constitution spelled out the ways and means by which a representative form of government was to make laws. It further laid out the court system by which justice could be maintained. It also intended that the administration of necessary laws occurs through an executive branch. Most importantly, the Bill of Rights was agreed upon to secure those rights which a runaway government is most likely to usurp or infringe upon.
Presently encroachment by government on fundamental rights is blatant beyond belief at this point in time. Every time it happens there is always some special need touted by the powers that be such as – “it’s for the children” or some other excuse that will tear at your heart strings. I am reminded once again of the saying by William Pitt, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
This year the Supreme Court of Indiana decided that unlawful entrance by the police into a private home without permission could not be resisted by the resident. That is a 4th Amendment infringement of a fundamental right. There is no room to give the facts of the case; there was some concern for the potential for violence, but no “hot pursuit” and no evidence of a crime more than yelling. When the officer came in, after being told not to, the resident pushed the officer against a door. In essence the court said, “We hold that there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.”
Why bother having a 4th Amendment? I would like to see them tell that to Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, or George Washington and the men and women who spilled their life’s blood on the battlefield fighting the tyranny of the king.
The 4th states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The Amendment uses the term “unreasonable” with regard to searches and seizures. There is provision for an “exigent circumstance,” which would be an emergency involving high potential for loss of life and limb etc. In this case there was no evidence of exigent circumstance. Yet the Court stated, “We hold that there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” There is no right to resist unlawful entry? Are these judges serious?
The court in essence stated that the officers should be allowed to infringe the right to be secure in one’s home and that the resident should press charges later. What the court left out of consideration is that it costs a lot of money to sue a policeman. It costs the police nothing unless found guilty. My contention is that with regard to a fundamental right, the courts and officers of government should err on the side of preserving fundamental rights for the People except in the most “exigent circumstance.” I repeat the phrase of the most highly decorated police officer in the Phoenix PD, Jack McLamb, “When tyranny comes to your door, it will be wearing a uniform.” The police are not above the law. We must preserve liberty in our lifetime or our children will be subjects to government instead of the government subject to the People. This is a topic whose time has come. If you would like to correspond with me on this contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.