Monday, December 15, 2008

Executing the Laws II

"As we reported yesterday, the Marine Corps Air and Ground Combat Center has dispatched uniformed and presumably armed (we have no confirmation of the latter) soldiers to assist the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in the operation of unconstitutional sobriety checkpoints in San Bernardino County, California, the largest county in California and the country (San Bernardino County is directly east of Los Angeles)." (Emphasis mine.)

This is in gross violation of the laws of this nation. This injustice only stands as proof of the blatant disregard for all law by those we would call "Authorities".

Firstly, on the issue of sobriety checkpoints in general, the random and warrantless searches of lawful American motorists' persons and private property without probable cause is undoubtedly illegal.

The 4th Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which was ratified 217 years ago today (the 15th), states in full:

"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."

Those who engage in these activities argue that it is state-law that they can perform such warrantless searches.

May I direct their attention to Article VI, Section II of the U.S. Constitution:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." Emphasis added.

Secondly, concerning the issue of members of the U.S. Military engaging in the enforcement of civil law, this violates the oft mentioned Posse Commitatus Act:

"Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

They might try to defend themselves by saying that the Marines are not a part of the Army or Air Force, but are a detachment of the Navy, which is not covered by Posse Commitatus. That would be silly and not in keeping with the nature of the law.

How far will it go?

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