The Elastic 4th

On January 24th, a Federal judge blocked Florida’s recently passed legislation which requires a drug test for welfare applicants.  Judge Mary Scriven’s temporary block stated that it may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

The Judicial traffic, which in recent times has trampled over, under and through our unalienable 4th Amendment rights, has once again produced a judgement based upon an individual circumstance.  That being the hallowed ground of the growing hands out and none contributing  sector of our society.  Scriven’s interference to a State law, while I agree, becomes quite controversial since what qualifies in today’s society as “unreasonable” has long since been legally decapitated.

In my book entitled, This Roar of Ours, I emphasize that modern day judicial findings have consistently watered down our 4th Amendment protections.  As a long time advocate of a strict adherence to our unalienable rights against invasive law enforcement procedures, I find it incredulous that the welfare arena gains more attention and proper defense than John Q Public.

On page 33 of the above mentioned text, I note that “In 1974, our Supreme Court authorized the concept of ‘warrantless searches.’” Also, “in 1984, in the case entitled ‘United States v. Leon,’ the Supreme Court established a ‘good faith’ add-on that defended a search warrant that was issued without ‘probable cause.’”  Then, in 1995, our Federal Government in the House passed HR 666 which “permits evidence that is obtained without a search warrant if police acted with an ‘objectively reasonable belief’ and observed the Constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizures.”

Obviously, there exists a consistent agenda to whither away at our 4th Amendment search and seizure assurances.  And it is this circus to which Judge Scriven has entered.

Incredibly, the American work place has also featured a practice that chronologically seems to parallel these anti 4th measures and by doing so, incurs a violation to our 5th Amendment rights against self incrimination.  And, I might add, which are identical to the Scriven’s ruling.  This practice of indiscriminate urine testing follows the DUI breathe analyzing procedures found at weekend “traffic points.” (roadblocks).  Both entail a “search” of one’s most private  possessions without first establishing our 4th Amendment’s “probable cause” criteria.

This brings us back to Judge Scriven’s recent ruling.  As I’ve stated, both here and in my essay, I am against any violation to our creed of unalienable rights by any level of authority.  I just find it ironic that this latter day ruling flies in the face of “established” employment policies which I also deem unconstitutional.  Need I mention the same personal reaction with regards to the money making gadgetry and lingering punitive effects from our DUI laws?

I find that Judge Scriven’s ruling, as questionable as it seems on the surface, is correct with Constitutional standards.  However, if this be the case, decades of jurisprudence will undergo revision, as so often should be the case with the Supreme Court’s contradictory output.

As previously mention, “the Supreme Court established a ‘good faith’ add-on…”  There in lies the problem.  Just as it “established” a “separation of church and state,” our Judiciary has lost its way. It is in place to interpret from a protective posture, not interpret through a redefining medium.  Judicial rulings must first and always maintain the original intent of our Forefathers.  Creating and/or establishing does neither.

One past point.  This ruling will produce immediate public support during this time of unemployment and uncertainty.  However, the more difficult lies ahead.  How much of that same support will demand an equal adherence to the same unalienable rights when it comes to the impossible mission of “highway safety?”

Jim Bowman,  Author of,

This Roar of Ours

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One Response to The Elastic 4th

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