Are you living in a Constitution Free Zone?
By Bobby Eberle April 17, 2014 7:13 am
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cfzIt’s sad to see what’s been happening with our government in recent years. Slowly, but surely, our rights and freedoms are being taken away. We thought our Constitution would protect us. After all, it was written to shield Americans from the abuses of government. But believe it or not, there are places in this country where the Constitution doesn’t apply.
As reported by Fox News, a federal judge has put forward a decision upholding the federal government’s practice of “‘suspicion-less’ searches of laptops, cameras and cell phones at the border.” There are two things wrong with this statement. First, that a federal judge would support these types of searches. And second, that this is an ongoing practice of our federal government!
“I think Americans are justifiably becoming increasingly surprised and even outraged by the extent to which the national security state seems to be monitoring and collecting information about us all,” said ACLU Attorney Catherine Crump. “We think that having a purely suspicion-less policy is wrong, because it leaves border agents with no standards at all to follow. That opens the door that people will be [targeted] for inappropriate reasons.”
The ACLU sued, claiming the broad expansion of search powers under President Obama posed a danger to the lives of ordinary Americans — especially since the administration claims it has the right to inspect items not just at ports of entry, but checkpoints hundreds of miles away. The ACLU calls these “Constitution-free zones.”
As Anthony Gucciardi points out, this zone around the United States “expands 100 miles and includes 197 million people.” We aren’t talking about Russia or China or Iran. We are talking about the United States of America under Barack Obama.
Gucciardi asks a basic question in his report: why isn’t the media reporting this? These zones, where anything of yours can be searched for any reason without having to have “cause,” is an ongoing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy. This is just outrageous! And the media don’t find this newsworthy? Why not? Why would they simply turn a blind eye to what’s happening to our freedoms?
Here’s how the 4th Amendment to the Constitution reads:
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.
Donald Quinn, writing for Digital Journal, takes issue with what the federal government is doing:
For all those people who have been fighting tooth and nail against new gun control laws, in order to uphold the 2nd Amendment, the bad news is apparently it is already a lost cause. If your home, vehicle, or person has a gun within 100 miles of an international border, to include all land and sea borders, ports, and airports, then the law enforcement agent of any stripe can seize that gun on the simple premise that they believe you could be about to commit a crime. Without being called an alarmist, we need to understand that with the stripping of the 4th Amendment under this “constitution free zone” we have already lost the ability to defend ourselves against any other violations of the Bill of Rights. Think I am being a panic monger?
In the story reported in The Tampa Tribune, John Filippidis and his family were pulled over, searched, and detained on the side of the road for up to 90 minutes in Maryland recently. The officer, from the Transportation Authority Police, pulled over the family (kids and all) for a supposed traffic violation despite the fact that they were not speeding. What followed was an ordeal where a police officer tried to get Filippidis to disclose the location of his handgun. How did the officer know that the man had a weapon? Filippidis had a concealed weapons permit for the State of Florida, however, had chosen not to carry his gun on a family road trip this December. Despite being told this repeatedly, the officer searched Filippidis and interrogated him in front of his wife and kids. To add insult to injury, they searched the entire car — under the guise of reasonable suspicion. No due process and certainly no probable cause considering that not even a speeding ticket was awarded, and the department has since issued an apology. My question is, what would the officer have done had Filippidis been carrying his weapon under his 2nd Amendment rights, and what good did the 4th Amendment do a family that had done nothing to attract suspicion other than being legal registered gun owners in a different state?
This is really going on in America. I’m not usually on the side of the ACLU, but if we lose our protections under “probable cause,” then what’s next? The federal government is supposed to serve the people… not the other way around. If we keep forfeiting our freedoms all in the name of “security,” pretty soon we’ll have neither.