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5-3 Constitution-shredding SCOTUS decision underlines the dangers of a Trump presidency

A president Trump would be a civil liberties nightmare

Jun 20, 2016 5-3 Constitution-shredding SCOTUS decision underlines the dangers of a Trump presidency

We do not hear Donald Trump trumpet civil liberties. Instead, he spouts brute force, xenophobia, demogoguery and hot-headedness. That is a dangerous mix for any president.

In making judicial nominations to the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, a president Trump will pay little heed to civil liberties concerns, and instead play to his own arrogance, delusions of grandeur and, at times, perceived constituency, which a president Trump would do in all aspects of his presidency.

A president Trump’s judicial nominee would increase the number of Constitution-shredding Supreme Court decisions, including today’s Strieff decision that generally okays searches of people unlawfully detained by police, in the event police learn before the subsequent search of the suspect, that the person has an open arrest warrant.

At the heart of the Exclusionary Rule of the Fourth Amendment, is reducing ours from being a Gestapo nation. Strieff encourages more Gestapo police tactics than we already have, at once telling police to expect little to no government financial fallout for a civil rights lawsuit for an unlawful detention, and to get a windfall for unlawfully detaining a suspect and then to search them incident to arrest if they have an open arrest warrant. Utah v. Strieff, __ U.S. __ (June 20, 2016).

Had Strieff not been unlawfully detained, the police would not have learned his name, and Strieff would not then have been arrested on his open warrant and prosecuted for the contraband that was in his pocket at the time.

Adding fuel to the fire of this Constitution-shredding Strieff decision is that it is authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, who does not even ask questions during oral argument, thereby creating the impression that he does not take his work and/or the litigating parties serious enough. Chief Justice Roberts — as much as I often disagree with his votes on the Supreme Court — is a wise and generally judicious man, who does not need to reward Justice Thomas’s oral argument silence with writing such an important opinion as Strieff. 

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