MARK KIESLING: Indiana high court moves another step toward fascism

2011-05-15T00:00:00Z MARK KIESLING: Indiana high court moves another step toward fascism nwitimes.com
May 15, 2011 12:00 am

There's inside information that some members of the Indiana Supreme Court are planning a working vacation to Washington, D.C.

They have bought a box of Sharpies and are going to stop at the National Archives, where they will furiously cross out the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

That's the one against unlawful state search and seizure, by the way.

It's already worked for them in Indianapolis, where the sound of jackboots is already resonating on the cobblestones.

For the second time in a week, the high court has seriously curtailed the rights of Indiana residents to be safe within their own homes and to be protected from illegal police action.

Tuesday, the court voted 5-0 to allow warrantless entry into homes, where before there had to be some probable cause to enter a private residence.

A man's home is no longer his castle, at least not in the Hoosier state.

On Thursday, the high court's newest excursion into fascism forbids private citizens from resisting illegal, unlawful arrest, even on their own property.

Thankfully, I guess, two justices dissented from the majority 3-2 decision, and both are from the area: Brent Dickson, of Hobart, and Bob Rucker, of Gary.

Dickson, who wrote the majority opinion on the Tuesday travesty, apparently had enough.

He concurred with Rucker, who wrote the dissent. "The physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed," wrote Rucker, citing a 1980 New York case.

"In my view, it is breathtaking that the majority deems it appropriate or even necessary to erode this constitutional protection based on a rationale addressing much different policy considerations," Rucker said. "There is simply no reason to abrogate the common law right of a citizen to resist the unlawful police entry into his or her home."

Rucker went on to quote remarks made in the 18th century attributed to William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, during a parliamentary debate:

"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter -- all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement."

Concluded Rucker, with Dickson concurring, "The same is no less true today and applies equally to the forces of the state."

This disallows resistance not only to legal police action, but to "government agents who may now enter their homes illegally," wrote Rucker, "without necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances."

The way last week has gone, let's just issue the authorities swastika armbands, black uniforms, jackboots and MP-40 submachine guns and get it over with.

That's where it's headed anyway, unless a higher court intervenes.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at mark.kiesling@nwi.com or (219) 933-4170.

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