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08/18/2004 Archived Entry: "So what's an illegal search"
SO. WE KNOW IT'S NOT AN ILLEGAL SEARCH when they stop you in a "papers, please" checkpoint. It's not an illegal search when TSA goons snoop in your Sampsonite. It's not an illegal search when they pat your passengers in a Terry stop. It's not an illegal search to make you blow in a Breathalizer, pee in a bottle, or surrender your DNA. It's not an illegal search when cops strongarm your banker or bookstore into giving up your records without any legal papers.
Now, it's not an illegal search when a cop sets the drug dogs on you simply because you've got a past drug conviction and the bad luck to break down by the highway.
Is there anything left that IS an illegal search? Well, indeedy and by golly, there still is. Here's one gutsy judge who not only said it was illegal for cops to bust into a home by force five seconds after knocking -- but who makes it clear that the homeowner was behaving like a perfectly reasonable American when he fired a shot at the goons who did that thing. Wow! Common sense still lives. At least in one little corner of Arizona.
Thanks to Jac for the little candle flame of good news in these dark times.
Posted by Claire @ 01:52 PM CST