22 March 2006

High Court Handcuffs Police

MSN reports that the US Supreme Court has denied, by a 5-3 decision, the right to enter a home when given the authority by one party, but denied by another party.

The decision stems from a Georgia case in which a woman called the police during a domestic and, when police arrived, she asked them to come in. The husband (an attorney), refused to let the police enter.

The police came in and found illegal drugs and arrests were made.

The 3 conservatives on the bench - Scalia, Roberts and Thomas - were in dissent of the majority opinion. Roberts, whose brief was almost longer than the original case, wrote, "“the end result is a complete lack of practical guidance for the police in the field, let alone for the lower courts.” Roberts predicted “severe” consequences for women who invite police in only to be overruled by their husbands.

The police are already inundated with enough rules and regs that could sink the Bismarck. This decision only adds to the muddied waters.

Suppose a husband has beaten up his wife and locked her in the closet. The husband denies the officers entry into his home. What are the police supposed to do - just walk away?

If the officers want to protect their jobs, yes. Now we have no right to enter a home without a search warrant or, obviously, exigent circumstances.

It's fitting that the Liberal justices were all in favor of stripping away even more power from the police - it will only take one woman's murder to turn this decision on its head.

It is a shame that the Liberals have to see someone die in order to do the right thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If it,s a domestic situation,and the spouse/offender ends up killing or seriously injuring spouse/victim because we were'nt able to legally enter the home and intervene exonerates us of any blame or liability.Unfortunately,that's the depths this job has sunk to.All it will take is the above situation to happen somewhere in America to show how stupid this ruling is.And it WILL happen.(And soon.)