Indiana Becomes a Police State: Supreme Court Overrules 4th Amendment

Indiana state flag

A man’s castle is no longer his own.

Once upon a time, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

The 4th Amendment was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. In 1961, in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the 4th Amendment applies to the states by way of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Alas, all that is no more.

The Supreme Court of the State of Indiana just ruled that it is unlawful for you to resist an unlawful entry into your home.

Dan Carden reports for NWI.com, “Court: No right to resist illegal cop entry into home,” May 13, 2011:

INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer’s entry.

“We believe … a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,” David said. “We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest.”

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.

The court’s decision stems from a Vanderburgh County case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment. When the couple went back inside their apartment, the husband told police they were not needed and blocked the doorway so they could not enter. When an officer entered anyway, the husband shoved the officer against a wall. A second officer then used a stun gun on the husband and arrested him.

Professor Ivan Bodensteiner, of Valparaiso University School of Law, said the court’s decision is consistent with the idea of preventing violence. “It’s not surprising that they would say there’s no right to beat the hell out of the officer,” Bodensteiner said. “(The court is saying) we would rather opt on the side of saying if the police act wrongfully in entering your house your remedy is under law, to bring a civil action against the officer.”

Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court’s decision runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. “In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally — that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances,” Rucker said. “I disagree.”

Rucker and Dickson suggested if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations they would have supported the ruling. But Dickson said, “The wholesale abrogation of the historic right of a person to reasonably resist unlawful police entry into his dwelling is unwarranted and unnecessarily broad.”

This is the second major Indiana Supreme Court ruling this week involving police entry into a home. On Tuesday, the court said police serving a warrant may enter a home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it. Prior to that ruling, police serving a warrant would have to obtain a judge’s permission to enter without knocking.

For the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling in pdf, click here.

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David

Justice Steven David, who wrote the majority opinion, was a military lawyer and colonel in the US Army.

H/t beloved fellow Will.

~Eowyn

20 responses to “Indiana Becomes a Police State: Supreme Court Overrules 4th Amendment

  1. Freedom is so “racist,” you know.

  2. I think Rand Paul,will turn these guys upside down,and they won’t be sure which end is up. I’ll send this to him.

  3. The judge looks to be an Alfred E Neumann “wannbe,” so I’m not surprised. The idiocy of this ruling is that all-too-often the cops enter ala SWAT style, and only the dead remain to file suit against their killers.

  4. Indiana, is it the firsst state to fall? omg this is the worst ! Hopefully they will take it to the USSC and they will over turn it. I can’t think of anything worse.

  5. This is twelve miles beyond scary.

    Hopefully this idiot judge’s ruling will be quickly overturned, because the longer it remains in place and is allowed to fester, the more likely other courts will use it as a precedent.

    The people of this country had better start insisting our Constitution be fully enforced, else the growing tyranny taking place in America will soon kill it.

    -Dave

    • When Bush 43 shouted that “the Constitution is just a Goddamn piece of paper!” he also betrayed his ignorance of it being written on vellum. Our Founders, wise enough to know that paper would not last, made all the copies on vellum for best possible preservation, at that time. This judge is “What, me worry?” material from the get-go.

  6. If the officers believed a crime was commited or about to be, and if a victim was present or being hiden, then entering to insure a persons saftey is permitted, and does not violate the 4th admentment. To not assure the saftey of probable victims would be neglegent. The next issue would be finding other contriband, then the warrent issue would come to play. So screw the guy, if he was concerned they might find his battered and bloody wife or kids, he needed to have his ass kicked.

    • Here’s the text of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:

      “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.”

      Where, pray tell, do you see that exceptions to the above are when “the officers beleived [sic] a crime was committed or about to be….”?

      God help us from sheeple like you. You are buying into the fear-mongering by our “we’re just here to help you” Nanny Big Brother State. Using your unConstitutional “logic,” if the federal government “believes an act of terrorism was committed or about to be committed,” then you would support the suspension of the Constitution itself.

    • Your mind does not work properly. You missed the entire point. This ruling ensures a literal police state. It’s in BLACK AND WHITE that now a person cannot defend or resist EVEN WHEN THE OFFICER UNLAWFULLY ENTERS AND MAKES AN ARREST. They can go into your home now for no reason and arrest you, even when there isn’t a legal reason to arrest you. Do you understand this? It’s a violation to our freedoms on every level. Do you work for the government?

    • Yes, dh, “unlawful” entry is apparently cool for the folk legislating from the bench in Indiana. People have no right to stop the Police from doing it… just like in banana republics in Central America.

  7. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to vote on this article for quality of writing or based upon the horrific law which has been made. The people of Indiana are literally under a police state now and most still have no clue what’s going on. I can’t even muster the insults to describe the people who remind blind to this injustice. If there are any decent people inside the Federal government they will throw the hammer down NOW on this and remove these people from their seats and put them in prison. These bastards are lucky we don’t live in the 18th century or they’d be strung up in public and spat on…I don’t believe in doing that, but if there was ever a reason to make an example out somebody it would be now, with Steven David pissing his pants and crying while being pelted with sticks and stones. This is the most offensive thing I’ve witnessed in terms of my home state. Indiana is the first state to officially fall. God help us all.

    • DoJ under the current admin dropped charges against the Black Panthers for videotaped voter intimidation after having won the case…

  8. Does anyone but me know that there are some bad apples in this state in regard to Police. I am not saying they are all bad but what about the ones that drink and drive, and do other shameful things. We can fully trust our own police agencies to do the right thing, why should it be required of us to allow these police, some of which who are criminals themselves, to enter our homes without consent or just cause. This is outrages and awareness is a must. This is just one more freedom taken away from us. I am sure there will be a push to implement this horrendous unlawful policy in other states. This country is losing its freedoms. What are we going to do about it? I say we stop voting for idiots.

    • Our whole country was founded on the idea of freedom FROM government, our Constitution on limiting what government CAN do, because the alternative was unpalatable to our forefathers from experience. Human nature, such as it is, lets power corrupt and allows more corruption with more power. That’s there is too it. Being subject to the whim of dirtbags sucks.

  9. fight the police state here. It’s free and easy. tell people.
    http://mycountrymyass.com/indiana.html

  10. Johnny get your gun, a storms a brewing—-last bullet wins

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