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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 12:21 AM
Original message
A Loss for Privacy Rights
Editorial
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/28/opinion/28wed2.html?_...

The Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches, but for this protection to have practical meaning, the courts must enforce it. This week, the Supreme Court let stand a disturbing ruling out of California that allows law enforcement to barge into peoples homes without a warrant. The case has not prompted much outrage, perhaps because the people whose privacy is being invaded are welfare recipients, but it is a serious setback for the privacy rights of all Americans.

San Diego Countys district attorney has a program called Project 100% that is intended to reduce welfare fraud. Applicants for welfare benefits are visited by law enforcement agents, who show up unannounced and examine the familys home, including the insides of cabinets and closets. Applicants who refuse to let the agents in are generally denied benefits.

The program does not meet the standards set out by the Fourth Amendment. For a search to be reasonable, there generally must be some kind of individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. These searches are done in the homes of people who have merely applied for welfare and have done nothing to arouse suspicion.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, rejected a challenge brought by welfare recipients. In ruling that the program does not violate the Constitution, the majority made the bizarre assertion that the home visits are not searches.

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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Searches" are not "Searches"
Republic-speak has reached a new low.

We are screwn.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's not Privacy Rights we are losing, it is our Freedom we are losing.
Privacy rights sounds so insignificant. Privacy is what you have when you go to the bathroom. It's not all that important. But when you lose the Freedom to be secure in your own home, why that's something to fight for. When the gubermint has the right to search your home anytime, anyway, without a warrant, you are losing your FREEDOM.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. exactly...
:applause:
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. There is no Constitution, practically-speaking, and this is all for show
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 07:05 AM by tom_paine
Just some theater to keep us stupid peasants from throwing tomatoes at the screen.

"People are cowardly, and ever ready to be deceived."
--Machiavelli, the guiding star of Bushies, Nazis, and Totalitarians everywhere
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