Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Log In

A valid email is required.
Password is required.
Posted: 4/27/2001 9:23:41 AM EDT
The American police state Have Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas flipped their lids? That's my question after reading the U.S. Supreme Court decision this week that says it's all right for police to arrest and handcuff citizens for minor traffic violations such as the failure to wear seatbelts. (See Atwater v. Lago Vista, 99-1408.) Are these guys nuts? Maybe you're wondering why I'm singling out two members of the majority of five ruling? Simple. I don't expect much from the rest of the court. But I have believed that Scalia and Thomas are principled constitutionalists and common-sense lovers of freedom and limited government. In this case, the justices ruled against a woman who was arrested and handcuffed for failure to wear a seatbelt while driving. They found that such arrests do not violate the constitutional protection against unreasonable search. And they said such an arrest does not violate the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizures. The Fourth Amendment, I'll remind you, protects "the right of the people to be secure ... against unreasonable searches and seizures.'' If this is not an unreasonable search and seizure, I'm afraid we've lost sight of the meaning of those words. The woman was driving her two children home from soccer practice in 1997 in Lago Vista, Texas, when she was stopped by a police officer who had noticed the three were not wearing seat belts. Texas law allows police to make arrests for routine traffic violations, except for speeding. There's an interesting distinction in the law. You would think speeding would be a more serious offense than not wearing seatbelts. But not in Texas. The officer arrested the mother, handcuffed her hands behind her back and took her to the city police station. A friend looked after her children and her pickup truck was towed away. Atwater's mug shot was taken and she was released after posting bond. She later pleaded no contest to the seat belt offense and paid the maximum $50 fine. Scalia and Thomas were joined by Justice David H. Souter, who wrote for the majority. Souter always seems to be on the wrong side of Supreme Court decisions. He's almost my barometer for my own reading on a case. If Souter is for it, I'm against it. If he's against it, I'm for it. It's a yardstick that has served me well in the years he has served on the bench, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy rounded out the majority. It didn't surprise me that either of these justices would support unlimited police power. To their credit, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens) and Stephen Breyer dissented.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 9:27:35 AM EDT
Just so you know: 1st I agree arrest for a minor traffic violation is wrong. Now, the facts, the Lady arrested was stopped 4 times prior and given a warning by the local police to wear her seat belt. It's a small town. The fifth time, she was written a ticket, she threw the ticket in the cops face. She should have been arested. The argument of the case was bad in my opinion, because I believe she should have been arrested for this, but I don't think this should give carte blanc to the police to arrest. WL
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 9:37:56 AM EDT
Look at how narrow the scope of the decision really is, though. There is nothing in the U.S.Constitution that [b]forbids[/b] a State from permitting the custodial arrest of a citizen for a crime (or infraction, traffic violation, misdemeanor, etc.) that is punishable only by a fine. The opinion basically says that the States [b]may[/b] give such permission to its law enforcement officers, not that they [b]must[/b]! Texas legislature has already introduced bills that would prohibit the custodial arrest of persons solely charged with violating such fine-only crimes. This is how it should be. Let the States decide. If a State determined that adults who fail to restrain minor children in moving automobiles should be imprisoned for 3 days, no exceptions, then the Supreme Court is saying that such a punishment is not [b]prohibited[/b] by the U.S.Constitution. Such a punishment might violate some provision of the State's constitution, but that would be an issue for that State's Supreme Court. It's all about State Rights. Period. Just make certain you live in a State that takes freedom seriously! Eric The Hun
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 9:38:27 AM EDT
The Constitution as written did not contemplate seat belt or cars. It is silent. Like it or not.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 9:42:20 AM EDT
"Because the court's position is inconsistent with the explicit guarantee of the Fourth Amendment, I dissent,'' O'Connor wrote. I agree. It's simple. It's cut and dried. So what's got into these other guys? I expect Souter to support a growing police state in America. It doesn't surprise me that Rehnquist and Kennedy do. But I would love to hear the thinking of Scalia and Thomas. The only possible defense of this decision, in my opinion, would be that the sovereign state of Texas has the right to pass any idiotic laws it desires without interference from Washington. If that was the argument, I would support it. But I haven't heard that one lately from a U.S. Supreme Court justice. My concern over what may seem to be an isolated and trivial issue stems from the inevitable result of this ruling: More police abuses of this kind. The U.S. Supreme Court just handed abusive cops the power to push around citizens who pose no danger to anyone else. Mandatory seat belt laws are stupid. They serve only one purpose -- to increase state power over the individual. They are an excuse for the government to poke its nose into your automobile without any other cause. They open the door to this kind of abuse. And this Supreme Court decision gives the jackboots license to run roughshod over any one of us any time. Shame on Scalia and Thomas and the rest of the majority. My guess is they don't buckle up in their government-subsidized limos. They are out of touch with the growing fear and apprehension Americans have toward their government and its police forces.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 11:02:52 AM EDT
I find it disgusting that the same people that were bitching and whining about "for da chilrun" being used as an excuse for gun laws are now using the same "for da chilrun" excuse to encourage these police state tactics.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 11:11:21 AM EDT
There's a simple solution to this problem. Repeal the god damn seatbelt laws! They are totally unjust and should never have been passed to begin with.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 11:15:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2001 11:16:56 AM EDT by GovtThug]
Cible, obviously you've never heard of Amendment # 2½ : "An unrestrained driver, being necessary to the comfort of a free automobile, the right of the people to operate a motor vehicle without wearing a seatbelt, shall not be infringed."
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 11:28:37 AM EDT
Funny..when I posted this topic on the 24th, the replies I got indicated people supported being arrested for not wearing a seatbelt. Like I said, another small step toward a police state.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 11:56:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 12:02:59 PM EDT
Anyone starting to have doubts as to which way Emerson would go if appealed to the supremacist court now?
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 12:08:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GovtThug: Cible, obviously you've never heard of Amendment # 2½ : "An unrestrained driver, being necessary to the comfort of a free automobile, the right of the people to operate a motor vehicle without wearing a seatbelt, shall not be infringed."
View Quote
HA HA HA! That is funny. Imbrog|io, you will notice that the Rehnquist clan never did a damn thing in the name of "the children." That's a Clintonism. You have to disarm the village to raise a child.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 12:15:03 PM EDT
You know when the Constitution was ratified in 1787-89, it was a felony in some New England states not to attend church on Sunday! I think that we've progressed SOME since then. We're either gonna allow the Supreme Court to arrogate power to itself (if it kicked out the Texas law permitting arrest for 'petty' crimes) or applaud them when they refuse to use their power to undo what state legislatures have provided for their citizens. It's the Texas law that stinks! Not the refusal of the Court to strike it down. We certainly have more power to make our state legislatures repeal these stupid laws, than we have of changing the composition of the Court. I'll wait to read the entire decision, both the majority and the dissent, before I believe that Thomas and Scalia have turned into rats! Eric The Hun
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 12:33:35 PM EDT
The Soviet Union had a constitution also. It was even better than ours! The difference was that they interpreted it any way they felt like it, in order to support whatever government actions were being taken at that time. Wait a minute...er...that's not much of a difference anymore. What was the difference again? Bill Wallace
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 6:18:04 PM EDT
I don't think it's reasonable to take someone to jail for failure to wear a seatbelt. In my opinion, the intrusion into this woman's life was far greater than was merited by the offense. That said, if she did 'throw the ticket in the officer's face', that's definitely a trip to jail. As far as I'm concerned, a citizen has the right to say anything they want to me as long as it's not a direct threat- that just comes with the job. However, if that same citizen throws the ticket I just gave them out the window or especially into my face, they've crossed the line of acceptable behavior. It's a crime in my state, and they're gonna get arrested just as if they'd spit in my face. THAT I don't have to put up with, and neither would you. But arresting someone and booking them for a $50 traffic infraction? That defies common sense. In my department (and I hope most others) that guy would be looking for a job if there was nothing besides a repeat offense of failure to wear a seatbelt!
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 6:43:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2001 6:42:41 PM EDT by Cible]
Originally Posted By Sparky315: But arresting someone and booking them for a $50 traffic infraction? That defies common sense. In my department (and I hope most others) that guy would be looking for a job if there was nothing besides a repeat offense of failure to wear a seatbelt!
View Quote
Read the opinion, and I bet that's exactly what the majority, if not a concurring, opinion says. It's something to do with "States' Rights" and the Federal Government not interfering in what a state does, or something like that. Life's a [i]bitch[/i] when you have to take the good with the bad.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 6:50:44 PM EDT
I remember 25 years ago being warned by a cop that tickets are issued in lieu of arrest. The decission was left to the officer's discretion.
Link Posted: 4/27/2001 9:04:12 PM EDT
Critter, that varies completely by state. My state statutes very specifically say that I CANNOT arrest someone for a mere violation, it has to be a criminal offense. If I give someone a ticket and they ignore it, the court can then issue a warrant for the crime of failure to appear in court, but I don't have any discretion to arrest them merely for the violation. Don't want it, either- there's plenty of actual bad guys out there for me to go around arresting women for failure to wear a seatbelt.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 2:18:18 AM EDT
What Bulls**t.,but then I don't believe the government has any business telling people whether they should or shouldn't wear a seat belt anyway.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 3:36:42 AM EDT
To read the decision, you need Acrobat Reader [url]http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/24apr20011100/www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/00pdf/99-1408.pdf[/url] [red][size=4] P.R.K.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 3:47:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2001 3:52:15 AM EDT by prk]
I don't understand why they took this case in the first place. They didn't have to. The states rights aspect is the consolation. It's supposedly very difficult to get the Supremes to hear a case. They could have spent their time better overturning, oh, say, the law about restraining orders causing you to lose your 2nd amendment - retroactively. Note that this ruling would have never been made by the Supreme Court if this woman had not fought it all the way, and where did she get the rescources to do it??? Who paid for this? [red][size=4] P.R.K.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 10:47:53 AM EDT
She paid for it out of her own pocket.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 11:20:05 AM EDT
A guy I know called the county attorney to see why the county attorney was not doing his job in regards to one issue. It got heated. The county attorney called the guy a dick, and the guy then called the county attorney an a-hole. Next thing, the cops are at the guy's door, saying they are going to arrest him if he does not call and apoligize to the county attorney. The guy bent over and apologized. Sounds a little like a police state to me.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 12:04:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By imposter: ..........Next thing, the cops are at the guy's door, saying they are going to arrest him if he does not call and apoligize to the county attorney. The guy bent over and apologized. Sounds a little like a police state to me.
View Quote
Yes it does. Either your friend said something worse that he didn't tell you, or I'd say he should be talking to an attorney about violation of civil rights under color of law, or some such thing. [red][size=4] P.R.K.
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 12:21:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By prk:
Originally Posted By imposter: ..........Next thing, the cops are at the guy's door, saying they are going to arrest him if he does not call and apoligize to the county attorney. The guy bent over and apologized. Sounds a little like a police state to me.
View Quote
Yes it does. Either your friend said something worse that he didn't tell you, or I'd say he should be talking to an attorney about violation of civil rights under color of law, or some such thing. [red][size=4] P.R.K.
View Quote
42 USC Section 1983
Link Posted: 4/28/2001 3:00:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cible: 42 USC Section 1983
View Quote
Care to elaborate on that, Cible? I've been thinking that maybe the Supremes have something in mind. These are learned scholars of the Constitution. All criticisms aside, there may be a reason (beyond police statism) why they took this case and why they ruled the way they did. It goes to states' rights and such. We need to repeal the seatbelt laws (remember, the fed. gov. strong-armed the states into passing them or risk losing fed. highway funds). The Supremes could be setting up to deal with that bit of anti-federalist nonsense. I'll still wear mine, but at my discretion. I often don't wear it when I drive 10mph on private property like parking lots.
Link Posted: 4/29/2001 10:33:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2001 12:01:23 AM EDT by prk]
I think he was citing the law I said might have been violated when the police showed up and said apologize or go to jail. [red][size=4] P.R.K.
Link Posted: 4/30/2001 3:04:00 AM EDT
Wonder why an armed nation like America would put up with such bull shit? SIMPLE: Americans have become soft, so soft that the tyrants are at full speed and working overtime to get your guns, and make everything you could, or can do, to cast them off illegal!!! Each and everyone that bitches, moans and groans, but does nothing, will get exactly what they deserve for their complacency, surely it will not be freedom in a POLICE STATE! LIKE, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO, USE EM, OR LOOSE EM??????????? [url]www.fsdf.org/
Link Posted: 4/30/2001 5:25:06 AM EDT
"Lose", not "loose."
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 3:07:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cible: "Lose", not "loose."
View Quote
Thank you!
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 5:54:25 AM EDT
In Louisiana, you always could arrest someone on a civil violation when it's clear that a citation would not prevent the person from continuing the violation. I think the decision is a good call in that there are times when people are asking for it and need a little attitude adjustment. A simple trip to the iron bar hotel is more than enough to get these people to see the light. Do not misunderstand me. I certainly don't think a person should be arrested for simply not wearing a seat belt. When compounding factors are present, then and only then should they go to jail.
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 6:06:58 AM EDT
I am sorry, but I too think this is TOTAL bullcrap... The 4th ammendment, to me means, I am free to ride in my buckboard, WITHOUT NAZI interference in my travels... I WOULD HAVE PAID MONEY to have seen the 'police' of the day stop ole Tom Jefferson, and ask 'permission' to search his buckboard, or further to require a 'safety rope' to keep him onboard..... IMHO...a biblical sword IS a modern gun, and a car is a buckboard....both by proxy, and BOTH having historical roles placed upon them.... FWIW, I NEVER wear a seatbelt, and I have been asked, and I ask for a lawyer ASAP AND then proceed to tell them WHY I feel it is unconstitutional for them to ask/order me to wear one...
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 4:37:09 PM EDT
The police are now, just the force of arms of tyrants here in America, and by their disregard of the constitution, the bill of rights and plain ole common sense, they have placed themselves on the list of things people love to hate in America! WONDER WHY? Is it their pension, greed, lack of any real values? Yep, and more, so it comes as no surprise that their suicide rate is around 50% of all causes of death among them!!! Yep, no one like this topic. How about disarming them in the name of public safety?
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 6:32:16 PM EDT
TO ALL YOU COP BASHERS!! IF YOU REALLY HAVE THE BALLS YOU PRETEND TO HAVE, JUST TRY THE HEROICS YOU "CLAIM" YOU'D DO TO THE LAW THE NEXT TIME YOU GET STOPPED FOR DRIVING 120 IN A 45, DRUNK, WITH NO SEAT BELT, AND THROWING TRASH OUT THE WINDOW AT A POLICE PATROL CAR. CALL ME FROM THE LOCK-UP PLEASE!! I NEED A GOOD LAUGH!!
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 10:17:42 PM EDT
andreusan, jc121, Good let him have it, tell him the way it is, I also hate cops because of the way they act and the fact that they treat you like you are garbage and only other cops are to be respected. They are also at least for the most part cowards, the way that SWAT acted at Columbine showed the type of heroes they really are. sf46 You don’t think people have the Balls well just meet me sometime without the backup that you cops need to give you courage, and we can go one on one, you with your duty weapon and little old me with my Colt Government 45 and lets see if you have the guts to draw against me. Without backup cops are just little babies crying I need backup I need backup. When when we win the next Civil War and you cops are put in you place, and lose your protection, you know what I mean don’t you, if I even touch you in self defense that is assaulting a police officer, so when you lose that protection, then we will see how much guts you really have to get into a fair gunfight or any fight for that matter. Cops hide behind their badge and without it they are nothing. By the way I never drive 120 in a 45 zone, drive drunk, I always wear a seat belt even before there was a law, I never throw trash out the window just look at the floor of my truck and you will know I do not litter, but if I was going to throw my trash out the window of my truck I can not think of a better place to throw it then into the open window of a cop car with the rest of the trash that happens to be driving it. One last thought, respect is something that should be earned and not just blindly given to someone because of his job etc. If you want me to respect you then start acting like a decent person and stop treating me and other people like trash. You treat me like a decent person and I will treat you the same way, you treat me like garbage and although I can not treat you the same way at least not at that time, since you are wearing that badge but I will consider you a piece of garbage and if I ever ever catch you without that badge I will tell you exactly what I think of you and hope you try to assault me. Sniper for Justice VINCE AUT MORIRE “Conquer or Die”
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 10:38:41 PM EDT
One thing else I need to say, there are three types of cop haters, the first is the criminal and they hate cops for the obvious reasons, the second type are the ones who learned from their parents that cops are not to be trusted, and the last type are the people who had to learn for themselves that cops are not to be trusted and are in fact evil. I happen to fall into that last category, I actually trusted cops when I was young, it was not until I was a lot older that I found out the truth about cops. And even then I kept trying to give them an even break and a second and third and more chances to be the good guys, but I have just given up and have accepted the fact that most cops are not the friend of the people and have nothing but contempt for anyone who is not a brother officer. Sniper for Justice VINCE AUT MORIRE “Conquer or Die”
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 10:39:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sf46: TO ALL YOU COP BASHERS!! IF YOU REALLY HAVE THE BALLS YOU PRETEND TO HAVE, JUST TRY THE HEROICS YOU "CLAIM" YOU'D DO TO THE LAW THE NEXT TIME YOU GET STOPPED FOR DRIVING 120 IN A 45, DRUNK, WITH NO SEAT BELT, AND THROWING TRASH OUT THE WINDOW AT A POLICE PATROL CAR. CALL ME FROM THE LOCK-UP PLEASE!! I NEED A GOOD LAUGH!!
View Quote
Another example of a real idiot!!!!!!
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 10:55:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2001 10:57:20 PM EDT by andreusan]
Originally Posted By Sniper_762x51: andreusan, jc121, Good let him have it, tell him the way it is, I also hate cops because of the way they act and the fact that they treat you like you are garbage and only other cops are to be respected. They are also at least for the most part cowards, the way that SWAT acted at Columbine showed the type of heroes they really are. sf46 You don’t think people have the Balls well just meet me sometime without the backup that you cops need to give you courage, and we can go one on one, you with your duty weapon and little old me with my Colt Government 45 and lets see if you have the guts to draw against me. Without backup cops are just little babies crying I need backup I need backup. When when we win the next Civil War and you cops are put in you place, and lose your protection, you know what I mean don’t you, if I even touch you in self defense that is assaulting a police officer, so when you lose that protection, then we will see how much guts you really have to get into a fair gunfight or any fight for that matter. Cops hide behind their badge and without it they are nothing. By the way I never drive 120 in a 45 zone, drive drunk, I always wear a seat belt even before there was a law, I never throw trash out the window just look at the floor of my truck and you will know I do not litter, but if I was going to throw my trash out the window of my truck I can not think of a better place to throw it then into the open window of a cop car with the rest of the trash that happens to be driving it. One last thought, respect is something that should be earned and not just blindly given to someone because of his job etc. If you want me to respect you then start acting like a decent person and stop treating me and other people like trash. You treat me like a decent person and I will treat you the same way, you treat me like garbage and although I can not treat you the same way at least not at that time, since you are wearing that badge but I will consider you a piece of garbage and if I ever ever catch you without that badge I will tell you exactly what I think of you and hope you try to assault me. Sniper for Justice VINCE AUT MORIRE “Conquer or Die”
View Quote
My, "the people do not have the balls", statements are by design, to provoke thought of their inactions! For the most part, Americans all feel squeezed and threatened, by the current form of what is called, "law enforcement", theses days. These LE types are an unauthorized standing army, that uses deadly force at every turn, then the deadly force is justified by members of the BAR, a cartel. "They all represent, A CLEAR & PRESENT DANGER!" I make no excuses, but I do admit, my posting are to provoke thought, hoping that thought will shock some into reality. I, know you already know this, but it is for the complacent ones, that I say it: TYRANNY SUCCEEDS ONLY BY SILENT CONSENT, I WILL NOT REMAIN SILENT, I DO TALK THE TALK, AND SURELY CAN WALK THE WALK! I know I am shouting now, but not to offend those who still believe in traditional American ideals and values. TYRANNOCTUNUS (slayer of tyrants)
Top Top