Keep track of our freedoms

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The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to allow the government to spy on Americans.

No one is saying that exactly, but what else can you call the practice of law enforcement agencies tracking suspects with GPS devices without a warrant?

In a case argued recently before the high court, police in Washington, D.C., had tracked a drug suspect with a global-positioning system monitor they’d secretly attached to his car. They tracked his movements for so long that, at one point, they had to sneak back and replace the tracking device’s battery.

His conviction was thrown out by an appeals court.

While you’d be hard-pressed to find a more law-and-order editorial page, we’re with the appeals court. You want to track the cars of criminal suspects? Get a judge’s OK first.

Anything less is spying.

If the Supreme Court justices weren’t with us initially, they may be now:

“The justices were taken aback,” one news report says, “when the lawyer representing the government said police officers could install GPS devices on the justices’ cars and track their movements without a warrant.”

That certainly brings it home. If the government lawyer was trying to win the court over to warrantless tracking, that probably wasn’t the thing to admit.

At least it’s honest.

The Founding Fathers
probably could not have anticipated cars, much less satellites tracking their every move. But they sure knew what a government with unlimited power was capable of. So they were quick to follow up their new Constitution with a series of amendments spelling out individual rights and government restraints – among them the Fourth Amendment, which
says:

“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.”

It’s pretty specific and not at all ambiguous.

Still, the news report said, justices pressed an attorney for the convicted drug dealer “to offer a principled way to draw a line that would still allow police to do their jobs without compromising people’s rights.” Now we’re taken aback! With all due respect to the justices, that’s not his job, nor is it the question being posed to the court. When faced with an unconstitutional act, it is not incumbent upon the victim to prescribe a more constitutional one.

This case is an important test of our freedoms.

Let’s keep track of it.

Comments (66) Add comment
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Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 11/13/11 - 01:16 am
0
0
Will ACES call for the repeal

Will ACES call for the repeal of the ill named Patriot Act?

shrimp for breakfast
5422
Points
shrimp for breakfast 11/13/11 - 03:06 am
0
0
This is supposed to be the

This is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Slowly but surely the government is forgetting that. I'm sick to death at how our freedoms are slowly being eroded away in the name of protecting ourselves. This practice is not only illegal and if we the people let them get away with it then what's next.
Will the government barge into our homes to check for anything illegal?
We need to stop them now or there is going to be a revolution.
The citizens of this country should be hopping mad. I know i am!

Brad Owens
4119
Points
Brad Owens 11/13/11 - 07:25 am
0
0
Thanks you George W. Bush and

Thanks you George W. Bush and Obama. One got it passed, the other kept it.

My father use to say all the time, "We are going to legislate ourselves into a dictatorship."

My father is a wise man.

Brad

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 11/13/11 - 07:26 am
0
0
You folks should stop your

You folks should stop your belly-aching and pay your taxes. The government knows what is best for us all. AND they are here to help-they are on our side!

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 11/13/11 - 08:12 am
0
0
This is a Catch 22. If law
Unpublished

This is a Catch 22. If law enforcement doesn't get warrants for those they suspect of criminal activity, including terrorist acts, they are part of "Big Brother." But, if they're not able to, or there just isn't time, they could be stiffled in their attempts to stop such people. Keep in mind folks, many extremist Muslims, including native born American citizens, the Ft. Hood shooter as an example, these "protected people," are hiding behind these very rights...rights they'd certainly eliminate if the Sharia Law they so desperately want was in place. We must strike a balance somehow. Keep in mind the old saying, "If you're not safe, you're not free!"

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/13/11 - 08:39 am
0
0
Liberal magazine commentary

Liberal magazine commentary on the Patriot Act from 2003: It’s not as bad as you’ve been told.

“When Dahlia Lithwick and Julia Turne for Slate asked, "How bad is PATRIOT, anyway?", they decided that it was "hard to tell" and stated:

‘The ACLU, in a new fact sheet challenging the DOJ Web site, wants you to believe that the act threatens our most basic civil liberties. Ashcroft and his roadies call the changes in law "modest and incremental." Since almost nobody has read the legislation, much of what we think we know about it comes third-hand and spun. Both advocates and opponents are guilty of fear-mongering and distortion in some instances.’

Lithwick, Dahlia; Turner, Julia (September 8, 2003). "A Guide to the Patriot Act, Part 1". Jurisprudence (Slate).

Wikipedia article: USA PATRIOT Act

seenitB4
81914
Points
seenitB4 11/13/11 - 08:41 am
0
0
Doesn't a cellphone do that

Doesn't a cellphone do that already? If anyone thinks they have privacy in todays world they are fooled.....
A smart criminal would change cars all the time anyway..but hey......we have lost so many freedoms & we don't even realize it....
Think about it.....seat belts?? smoking?? spanking?? buying liquor?? well I could go on but you get my drift.....yeh ..some will say these laws are for our own protection..yeh could be...but we didn't have them a few years ago.

justthefacts
20510
Points
justthefacts 11/13/11 - 08:48 am
0
0
Brad, would your dad been in

Brad, would your dad been in favor of "legislation" banning smoking in a private business? That seems a little dictatorial.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/13/11 - 08:49 am
0
0
...seat belts?? smoking??

...seat belts?? smoking?? spanking?? liquor??

It’s Sunday morning, save the kinky for Saturday night.

seenitB4
81914
Points
seenitB4 11/13/11 - 08:58 am
0
0
Funny bj.....I didn't even

Funny bj.....I didn't even say handcuffs & blindfolds...:)

justthefacts
20510
Points
justthefacts 11/13/11 - 09:12 am
0
0
bj, the point being that most

bj, the point being that most of us, certainly including me, have an inconsistent point of view when it comes to gov't interference in our lives.

Riverman1
79841
Points
Riverman1 11/13/11 - 09:19 am
0
0
These invasions of our

These invasions of our privacy are contrary to the type government we are supposed to have. This GPS monitoring without a warrant, roadblock checkpoints, stop light cameras used for monitoring individuals movements and monitoring cell phone and other conversations are all wrong.

I've seen some say if you didn't have anything to hide you wouldn't worry about any of this, but that misses the point. My question to them is why not have the police do random searches of houses block by block at midnight? If you have nothing to hide it shouldn't matter.

Guard our rights as individuals closely. Those getting into insane measures such as doing away with money and making everyone have a card that can track you everywhere and your every transaction belong in a Startrek episode on some other planet.

seenitB4
81914
Points
seenitB4 11/13/11 - 09:58 am
0
0
Now the hot lanes on I-85 are

Now the hot lanes on I-85 are loaded with cameras....tocheck...how many in the car-when you change lanes--if you have a peach pass...there is a chip in the pavement to show if you cross the dotted line or not when entering...TOO DANG MUCH...we have had meetings & they have been heated....cameras are nice in crime infested areas BUT driving back & forth to work is a little much!

Brad Owens
4119
Points
Brad Owens 11/13/11 - 10:16 am
0
0
justthefacts, My Dad never

justthefacts,

My Dad never smoked in his life, but he chews. However, he doesn't spit on the floor in public places and I am sure he would not support anyone being able to do it either.

Public health is a giverment area. I would never support you not being allowed to smoke on YOUR property however, and neither would Pops.

Brad

shrimp for breakfast
5422
Points
shrimp for breakfast 11/13/11 - 10:17 am
0
0
Exactly Riverman! I have

Exactly Riverman! I have nothing to hide but if the cops want to search my house they better have a warrant.
Seenit don't forget the whipped cream! It goes great with handcuffs. Juat ask my wife!

augusta citizen
8711
Points
augusta citizen 11/13/11 - 10:20 am
0
0
Riverman sez, "Those getting

Riverman sez, "Those getting into insane measures such as doing away with money and making everyone have a card that can track you everywhere and your every transaction belong in a Startrek episode on some other planet."

Amen!! That is one of the suggestions that makes my blood boil. My avatar is in honor of the nuts that believe in doing that! What are they thinking, can they think?

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/13/11 - 10:28 am
0
0
No Sunday kinky before noon

No Sunday kinky before noon unless authorized by court order:

Official Code of Georgia, 2010 Edition, Title 16

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/13/11 - 10:31 am
0
0
You can have my cash when you

You can have my cash when you pry it from my stock broker’s cold dead hands.

seenitB4
81914
Points
seenitB4 11/13/11 - 10:34 am
0
0
shrimp...I use my whipped

shrimp...I use my whipped cream on top of my pumpkin pie...where do you use it?? heheheheh.....hehehh...:)

Riverman1
79841
Points
Riverman1 11/13/11 - 10:45 am
0
0
BJ, that's like them letting

BJ, that's like them letting my stock shares be shorted when I didn't say they could.

Shrimp, we both grew up reading the old News and Courier. That's why we think alike.

justthefacts
20510
Points
justthefacts 11/13/11 - 10:57 am
0
0
Brad, I won't belabor the

Brad, I won't belabor the point. You folks argued for two days. I would point out that if I bought a piece of property and opened a restaurant, it would be MY property and I should not have the gov't tell me what I, or the people that choose to frequent it, should do.

Brad Owens
4119
Points
Brad Owens 11/13/11 - 11:32 am
0
0
justthefacts, if you open a

justthefacts, if you open a business that requires a lic and allows the public in, it is not "private" anymore.

Again, no one will even say I support banning smoking all together. I do not support banning it in your own home, on your private property or in private clubs. But in places that non-smokers go, it should not be a choice to pollute or not.

Brad

Sargebaby
4692
Points
Sargebaby 11/13/11 - 01:28 pm
0
0
What's going on here? Are we

What's going on here? Are we discussing smoking and individual rights again? Geeze, doesn't anyone discuss guns anymore?

Brad Owens
4119
Points
Brad Owens 11/13/11 - 01:34 pm
0
0
That is no longer a question

That is no longer a question Sargebaby! Everyone has accepted that guns are here to stay, cigs, maybe not.

Where have you been?

Sargebaby
4692
Points
Sargebaby 11/13/11 - 01:40 pm
0
0
Been doing radiation

Been doing radiation treatments! Naturally, the side effect that got me first, is fatigue. I found out that my energy level has dwindled quite a lot, however, I do have spurts of get-up-and-go! I'm doing fairly well, Brad, and thanks for asking!

Sargebaby
4692
Points
Sargebaby 11/13/11 - 01:46 pm
0
0
"The U.S. Supreme Court is

"The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to allow the government to spy on Americans."

I think we have to understand that "some Americans" are subversives! Additionally, those who are suspected of acts against our country need to be watched. Most Americans haven't got to worry about "big Brother" snooping in their private affairs, but if this kind of snooping keeps just one bomb from killing Americans on American soil, I'm all for it!

Will
75
Points
Will 11/13/11 - 01:52 pm
0
0
This is a good thing. If one
Unpublished

This is a good thing. If one doesn't commit a crime, they have no need to worry or be concerned. Stop confusing rights with criminal activity; criminals have no rights! By breaking the law, you're waiving all your rights. I'm not pro Gov either, but when it comes to tightening the screws to this cancer that's eating away at this country, I say "go for it!"

harley_52
22305
Points
harley_52 11/13/11 - 02:15 pm
0
0
sargebaby said "I think we

sargebaby said "I think we have to understand that "some Americans" are subversives! Additionally, those who are suspected of acts against our country need to be watched. Most Americans haven't got to worry about "big Brother" snooping in their private affairs, but if this kind of snooping keeps just one bomb from killing Americans on American soil, I'm all for it!"

Me too.

harley_52
22305
Points
harley_52 11/13/11 - 04:25 pm
0
0
I find it just as amusing as

I find it just as amusing as some others to observe that some of the same folks who are willing to ignore the Constitutional protections for property rights in the smoking controversy now flip/flop into Constitutional purists when they perceive a possible infringement on their rights as regards the Patriot Act.

While it may be true that second hand smoke MIGHT be hazardous to your health, there isn't much doubt about the health effects of having your head sawed off.

Riverman1
79841
Points
Riverman1 11/13/11 - 05:02 pm
0
0
Harley said, "While it may be

Harley said, "While it may be true that second hand smoke MIGHT be hazardous to your health, there isn't much doubt about the health effects of having your head sawed off."

Ha, that's pretty funny, Harley. But I ain't buying anyone or anything having the right to mess up the air or water.

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