The Right To Be Left Alone…

http://gunnyg.blogspot.com/2007/02/police-as-standing-army.html

The Right To Be Left Alone…

POLICE AS A STANDING ARMY…?


PART II

POLICE AS A STANDING ARMY

It is largely forgotten that the war for American independence was initiated in large part by the British Crown‘s practice of using troops to police civilians in Boston and other cities.244 Professional soldiers used in the same ways as modern police were among the primary grievances enunciated by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. (“[George III] has kept among us standing armies”; “He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power”; “protecting them, by a mock trial….”).245 The duties of such troops were in no way military but involved the keeping of order and the suppression of crime (especially customs and tax violations).

Constitutional arguments quite similar to the thesis of this article were made by America‘s Founders while fomenting the overthrow of their government. Thomas Jefferson proclaimed that although Parliament was supreme in its jurisdiction to make laws, “his majesty has no right to land a single armed man on our shores” to enforce unpopular laws.246 James Warren said that the troops in Boston were there on an unconstitutional mission because their role was not military but rather to enforce “obedience to Acts which, upon fair examination, appeared to be unjust and unconstitutional.”247 Colonial pamphleteer Nicholas Ray charged that Americans did not have “an Enemy worth Notice within 3000 Miles of them.”248 “[T]he troops of George the III have cross’d the wide atlantick, not to engage an enemy,” charged John Hancock, but to assist constitutional traitors “in trampling on the rights and liberties of [the King’s] most loyal subjects …”249

The use of soldiers to enforce law had a long and sullied history in England and by the mid-1700s were considered a violation of the fundamental rights of Englishmen.250 The Crown’s response to London’s Gordon Riots of 1780 — roughly contemporary to the cultural backdrop of America’s Revolution — brought on an immense popular backlash at the use of guards to maintain public order.251 “[D]eep, uncompromising opposition to the maintenance of a semimilitary professional force in civilian life” remained integral to Anglo-Saxon legal culture for another half century.252

Englishmen of the Founding era, both in England and its colonies, regarded professional police as an “alien, continental device for maintaining a tyrannical form of Government.”253 Professor John Phillip Reid has pointed out that few of the rights of Englishmen “were better known to the general public than the right to be free of standing armies.”254 “Standing armies,” according to one New Hampshire correspondent, “have ever proved destructive to the Liberties of a People, and where they are suffered, neither Life nor Property are secure.”255

If pressed, modern police defenders would have difficulty demonstrating a single material difference between the standing armies the Founders saw as so abhorrent and America’s modern police forces. Indeed, even the distinctions between modern police and actual military troops have blurred in the wake of America’s modern crime war.256 Ninety percent of American cities now have active special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams, using such commando-style forces to do “high risk warrant work” and even routine police duties.257 Such units are often instructed by active and retired United States military personnel.258

In Fresno, California, a SWAT unit equipped with battering rams, chemical agents, fully automatic submachine guns, and ‘flashbang’ grenades roams full-time on routine patrol.259 According to criminologist Peter Kraska, such military policing has never been seen on such a scale in American history, “where SWAT teams routinely break through a door, subdue all the occupants, and search the premises for drugs, cash and weapons.”260 In high-crime or problem areas, police paramilitary units may militarily engage an entire neighborhood, stopping “anything that moves” or surrounding suspicious homes with machine guns openly displayed.261

Much of the importance of the standing-army debates at the ratification

conventions has been overlooked or misinterpreted by modern scholars. Opponents of the right to bear arms, for example, have occasionally cited the standing-army debates to support the proposition that the Framers intended the Second Amendment to protect the power of states to form militias.262 Although this argument has been greatly discredited,263 it has helped illuminate the intense distrust that the Framers manifested toward occupational standing armies. The standing army the Framers most feared was a soldiery conducting law enforcement operations in the manner of King George’s occupation troops — like the armies of police officers that now patrol the American landscape.

Ref
http://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ARE COPS CONSTITUTIONAL?

Roger Roots*

ABSTRACT

Police work is often lionized by jurists and scholars who claim to employ “textualist” and “originalist” methods of constitutional interpretation. Yet professional police were unknown to the United States in 1789, and first appeared in America almost a half-century after the Constitution‘s ratification. The Framers contemplated law enforcement as the duty of mostly private citizens, along with a few constables and sheriffs who could be called upon when necessary. This article marshals extensive historical and legal evidence to show that modern policing is in many ways inconsistent with the original intent of America’s founding documents. The author argues that the growth of modern policing has substantially empowered the state in a way the Framers would regard as abhorrent to their foremost principles.

PART I

INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………….686

THE CONSTITUTIONAL TEXT……………………………………….688

PRIVATE PROSECUTORS…………………………………………….689

LAW ENFORCEMENT AS A UNIVERSAL…………………………..692

POLICE AS SOCIAL WORKERS………………………………………695

THE WAR ON CRIME………………………………………………….696

THE DEVELOPMENT OF DISTINCTIONS…………………………..698

RESISTING ARREST……………………………………………………701

THE SAFETY OF THE POLICE PROFESSION……………………….711

PROFESSIONALISM?………………………………………………….713

DNA EVIDENCE ILLUSTRATES FALLIBILITY OF POLICE……..716

COPS NOT COST-EFFECTIVE DETERRENT………………………..721

PART II

POLICE AS A STANDING ARMY…………………………………….722

THE SECOND AMENDMENT……..725

THE THIRD AMENDMENT……………………………………………727

THE RIGHT TO BE LEFT ALONE…………………………………….728

THE FOURTH AMENDMENT…………………………………………729

WARRANTS A FLOOR, NOT A CEILING……………………………733

PRIVATE PERSONS AND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT…………..734

ORIGINALISTS CALL FOR CIVIL DAMAGES………………………739

DEVELOPMENT OF IMMUNITIES……………………………………743

THE LOSS OF PROBABLE CAUSE, AND THE ONSET OF PROBABLE SUSPICION…………………………………………744

POLICE AND THE “AUTOMOBILE EXCEPTION”………………….745

ONE EXCEPTION: THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE?………………….747

THE FIFTH AMENDMENT…………………………………………….751

DUE PROCESS………………………………………………………….752

ENTRAPMENT………………………………………………………….754

CONCLUSION……………………………..757

PART I

INTRODUCTION

Uniformed police officers are the most visible element of America’s criminal justice system. Their numbers have grown exponentially over the past century and now stand at hundreds of thousands nationwide.1 Police expenses account for the largest segment of most municipal budgets and generally dwarf expenses for fire, trash, and sewer services.2 Neither casual observers nor learned authorities regard the sight of hundreds of armed, uniformed state agents on America’s roads and street corners as anything peculiar — let alone invalid or unconstitutional.

Yet the dissident English colonists who framed the United States Constitution would have seen this modern ‘police state’ as alien to their foremost principles. Under the criminal justice model known to the Framers, professional police officers were unknown.3 The general public had broad law enforcement powers and only the executive functions of the law (e.g., the execution of writs, warrants and orders) were performed by constables or sheriffs (who might call upon members of the community for assistance).4 Initiation and investigation of criminal cases was the nearly exclusive province of private persons.

At the time of the Constitution’s ratification, the office of sheriff was an appointed position, and constables were either elected or drafted from the community to serve without pay.5 Most of their duties involved civil executions rather than…
CONTINUED…CLICK-HERE!!!!!

http://gunnyg.blogspot.com/2007/02/police-as-standing-army.html

Addendum:

The Right to Be Left Alone

by Mark Skousen

http://www.mskousen.com/Books/Articles/0205alone.html

“The makers of the Constitution conferred the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by all civilized men—the right to be let alone.”

-JUSTICE LOUIS D. BRANDEIS

According to Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, one of the “repeated injuries and usurpations” committed against the American people by the King of England was the erecting of “a multitude of New Offices, and . . . swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

Today, following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the American people face another troublesome threat—swarms of security agents harassing us at airports, borders, buildings, and highways. Like many of you who travel frequently, my wife, Jo Ann, and I have been subjected to these often overzealous security guards who ask inane questions; force us to remove our shoes, jackets, and belt buckles; and meticulously go through our carry-on bags. I’ve had my fingernail clippers confiscated twice. Jo Ann was frisked three times in one day. Others have fared far worse. My friend and IOL fellow columnist Walter Williams was almost arrested in Jacksonville, Florida, after he refused to be patted down. A congressman was required to disrobe. After these security encounters, I always feel my privacy, indeed my dignity, has been violated.

President George W. Bush has urged citizens to return to normal life, but business and domestic affairs are never the same when a war is on, and this war on terrorism is no exception.1 Bush’s proposed federal budget jumped 9 percent from last year, pushing the United States into a deficit again. Private enterprise has been forced to spend billions on security measures, a real burden on a recessionary economy. (Imagine, intelligent employees spending the rest of their lives trying to catch some nut out there, representing 1/1000 of 1 percent of travelers.) Airport security has now become federalized. And we have become, in the words of Sheldon Richman, “tethered citizens.”

In revolutionary times, colonists were so incensed by the invasions of privacy and other personal abuses by British officers that Congress’s first act was to pass a Bill of Rights, including Amendment III, “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law,” and Amendment IV, “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.”

The Fourth Amendment forms the basis of a “right to privacy,” the right to be left alone, as Justice Louis Brandeis put it. The enjoyment of financial and personal privacy is fundamental to a free and civil society. True liberty is to be able to walk down the street, cash a check, buy goods, talk on the telephone, or take a trip without being hassled, hounded, followed, or interrogated by government agents. People should be able to get away from the madding crowds without being followed or asked stupid questions. When I travel abroad, there is no better feeling than walking through the green customs door marked “Nothing to Declare.” When I return home and close the door, there is a feeling of security, knowing that the police aren’t going to break it down in the middle of the night for a “warrantless” search. It happened in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, but surely not in America!

Privacy Eroding

Yet the right to privacy so cherished by Americans of generations past is gradually eroding. New airport-security laws require all travelers to carry a “government-issued” ID, usually a driver’s license or passport. Thus we have come dangerously close to creating a national identity card for all Americans. The war on drugs has made it virtually impossible to deal legally in large amounts of cash, the most anonymous form of doing business. Some banks are requiring thumbprints for identification. Mandatory drug-testing of students and employees is becoming commonplace without any reference to the constitutional principle of “probable cause.” Since September 11, police routinely check automobiles and trucks coming into New York City without a warrant. Tampa and other big cities are videotaping citizens in “crime-prone” areas around the clock. California and other states are capturing all drivers on film and issuing tickets for alleged speeders.

I wrote the first book on financial privacy in the early 1980s.2 It was a huge underground hit, selling over 400,000 copies. Clearly, vulnerable Americans felt the need for protection against potential lawsuits, government surveillance, prying relatives, aggressive salesmen, and professional thieves. From time to time, I am asked to do an updated edition, but I have refused. Why? Because the law has changed and become so complex that it takes a full-time professional to stay up on all the dos and don’ts. However, I can recommend an excellent newsletter that focuses on privacy issues: The Financial Privacy Report, published and written by Michael Ketcher (to subscribe, call 1-866-429-6681; P.O. Box 1277, Burnsville, MN 55337).

Despite the recent intrusions into individual personal affairs, you can still maintain a certain degree of privacy. You can take a car, bus, or train, and go to most destinations without being noticed or tracked. In small transactions, you can still pay with cash instead of using credit cards or checks. You can buy a large number of gold and silver coins with cash and avoid reporting requirements. You can refuse to give your Social Security number to schools, hospitals, dentist and doctor offices, insurance companies, and most private organizations (but not banks, brokers, or the IRS). You can open a foreign bank account with less than $10,000 and not have to report it. You can use a post office box to keep direct mail promoters from contacting you. You can demand a search warrant before allowing the police to come into your house or business, or to search your automobile.

In short, by maintaining a low profile, you can usually avoid the scrutiny of overzealous bureaucrats, nosy neighbors, or jealous relatives.

1. Historian Robert Higgs makes this very clear in his excellent article, “How War Makes Government Bigger,” Ideas on Liberty, December 2001.
2. Mark Skousen, The Complete Guide to Financial Privacy (Alexandria House Books, 1979; New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983).

http://www.mskousen.com/Books/Articles/0205alone.html

About Gunny G

GnySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952--'72 PC: History, Poly-Tiks, Military, Stories, Controversial, Unusual, Humorous, etc.... "Simplify...y'know!"
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15 Responses to The Right To Be Left Alone…

  1. Pingback: Crime Fighters vs. the Constitution « -THE "G" BLOGS ~ Gunny G Online -

  2. Pingback: Gunny G: DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE LEFT ALONE? « ~ THE GUNNY "G" BLOGS ~

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  5. old1 says:

    This usurpers Presidency is like a boil on your rear end. It wakes one up to the fact that there is a problem in ones life and changes are to be made to promote a healthy existence. Time to take the cure and squeeze the corruption out of our collective behind.
    Before It Kills Us!

  6. Pingback: The Right To Be Left Alone… (via ~ The GUNNY “G” BLOG & E-MAIL ~) « THE GUNNY G BLOG-SITE

  7. Pingback: The Right To Be Left Alone… (via ~ The GUNNY “G” BLOG & E-MAIL ~) « Gunny G: P!SSED YET? WELL, YOU OUGHTA BE!

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  9. Gunny G says:

    Reblogged this on ~ BLOGGER.GUNNY.G.1984+. ~ (BLOG & EMAIL) and commented:

    BASICALLY, what everyone really wants !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!

  10. Pingback: Why Won’t They Leave Us Alone? by Eric Peters (“The simple answer is – because they can’t. Cloverism is a one-way street.”) « CITIZEN.BLOGGER.1984+ GUNNY.G BLOG.EMAIL

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  12. Pingback: Do private police forces foretell America’s “Civil Divorce” between rich and poor? « Coach is Right | SEMPER.BLOGGING! GUNNY.G ~ AMERICAN !

  13. Pingback: The Right To Be Left Alone… | BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN ! | BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN !

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