Indiana Supreme Court threatened following controversial ruling

2011-05-16T17:30:00Z 2011-05-18T00:35:05Z Indiana Supreme Court threatened following controversial rulingBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | Indiana State Capitol Police are investigating harassing phone calls and email messages directed to the Indiana Supreme Court following a controversial ruling issued last Thursday.

Police would not say how many calls and messages have been received or whether they were addressed to a specific justice. But the communications are being reviewed as part of a criminal harassment investigation, police said.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathryn Dolan said the threats contained in the calls and emails were "primarily" directed at police officers.

"We obviously want to protect the safety of our employees and alert police to individuals who might be dangerous, so we contacted Capitol Police," Dolan said. "Because they are investigating, I am not able to give more specific information."

On Thursday, the state's high court ruled that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes -- eliminating a common law right dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215.

In a 3-2 decision written by Justice Steven David, appointed to the bench last year by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, the Supreme Court said a person confronted with an illegal police entry into his home should not physically resist. Instead, the person should later sue for damages in the court system.

"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."

Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court's decision was too broad and runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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