Don't Confuse Philosophy And Politics



The editorial bashing the U.S. Supreme Court (‘4th Amendment Shuffle' by the Supremes, Jan. 28), has been rejected by other readers on good, specific grounds.However, as a person who has briefed and argued a case before the Court, I must also defend the Court and its decisionor broader reasons.

The editorial argues that our civil rights have been eroded by the decision (permitting drug sniffing dogs at traffic stops), as if the Court had dreamed up a new concept based on ordinary political reasons.hat isot correct. In fact, the decision is based on, and is consistent with a long history of such cases, commonly called legal precedent.The vote was not close (6-2), and was written by a justice whose legal philosophy is generally considered to be on the liberal should never confuse legal philosophy with partisan politics as the editorial does.

Theonclusions in the editorial areot persuasiveecause they are based simply on Mr. Thebado's political point of view (similar to an imaginative defense attorney trying to spring his drug dealing client),ithoutonsideration ofhe legal elements of search and seizuren a long line of Fourth Amendment casesy the Court.Whileaseless political expression is clearly protected under the First Amendment, there is no guarantee that such "Free Speech" is worth anything.I, for one, find the editorialontained no justification for vilifying the justices, or the majority decision.

Bill Claerhout, Payson

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