A Drug Dog at Your Door is a Search, Supreme Court Says

More detailed coverage to follow later, but some grand news this morning from the Supreme Court in its decision in Florida v. Jardines. From the opening of the decision:

Police took a drug-sniffing dog to Jardines’ front porch, where the dog gave a positive alert for narcotics. Based on the alert, the officers obtained a warrant for a search, which revealed marijuana plants;

Jardines was charged with trafficking in cannabis. The Supreme Court of Florida approved the trial court’s decision to suppress the evidence, holding that the officers had engaged in a Fourth Amendment search unsupported by probable cause. 

Held: The investigation of Jardines’ home was a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

(a) When “the Government obtains information by physically intruding” on persons, houses, papers, or effects, “a ‘search’ within theoriginal meaning of the Fourth Amendment” has “undoubtedly occurred."....

(b) At the Fourth Amendment’s “very core” stands “the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.” ....The area “immediately surrounding and associated with the home”—the curtilage—is “part of the home itself for Fourth Amendment purposes.”...

The officers entered the curtilage here: The front porch is the classic exemplar of an area “to which the activity of home life extends."

(c) The officers’ entry was not explicitly or implicitly invited. Officers need not “shield their eyes” when passing by a home “on public thoroughfares,” ....but “no man can set his foot upon his neighbour’s close without his leave,” .....A police officer not armed with a warrant may approach a home in hopes of speaking to its occupants, because that is “no more than any private citizen might do.” ....But the scope of a license is limited not only to a particular area but also to a specific purpose, and there is no customary invitation to enter the curtilage simply to conduct a search.

(d) It is unnecessary to decide whether the officers violated  Jardines’ expectation of privacy under Katz v. United States,

Opinion written by Antonin Scalia, joined by Thomas, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg. Dissent from Alito, joined by Kennedy, Roberts, and Breyer.

See Jacob Sullum in the March Reason for detailed background on this drug dog issue. Sullum on last month's crummier decision on dogs triggering searches in Florida v. Harris.

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  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Scalia? Wow.

  • John||

    Not surprising at all. Scalia follows precedent. And it has been long standing precedent that using extraordinary means like infrared sensors on houses constitutes a search. A dog is the same thing.

  • robc||

    Scalia is also a stickler for prosecutorial procedure and similar. Him and Ginsberg tag team on these issues.

  • robc||

    Just to accentuate my point. When I saw the headline, my first thought was "Scalia and Ginsberg in the majority, I wonder who joined them?"

    It was obvious how those two were going to vote.

  • John||

    Roberts, further proving himself to be as useless as tits on a boar, dissented. Is there anything he ever gets correct?

  • John Galt||

    Poor Johnny, he just hasn't been the same since King Obama gave him the public tongue lashing.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Yes.

    Heller and McDonald for starters.

  • John Thacker||

    The remarkable thing is how with so many personnel changes recently, the Court has stayed so much the same. Roberts is a clone of Rehnquist, a pragmatic conservative. And so on.

    We get the same 5-4 splits, including the formalist-pragmatic splits that people call "unusual" every time they happen, even though they're fairly common in a line of cases. (Confrontation Clause, etc.)

  • robc||

    I havent seen stats recently, but a Scalia-Ginsberg pairing is one of the more common pairings on the court.

    Its really, really far from "unusual".

    I know you know this, just emphasizing it.

  • John Thacker||

    And it has been long standing precedent that using extraordinary means like infrared sensors on houses constitutes a search.

    That "long standing" precedent dates back to 2001-- in an opinion that Scalia wrote, Kyllo v. United States.

  • robc||

    12 years is fairly long standing.

    And it is Scalia being consistent since he wrote both that one and this one.

  • John Thacker||

    Oh, absolutely.

    The only real shift from 2001 is that Breyer moved from the good side to the bad, mostly because on the "pragmatic" grounds of thinking that infrared scanners were unusual and thus a search but that dogs are not.

  • R C Dean||

    I wonder if Breyer would find a German Shepherd's snout shoved into his crotch to be intrusive or unusual.

    Now that I think about it, maybe I don't really want to know.

  • John||

    Maybe it was the circuit courts but I remember that rule being the case in the 1990s when I took criminal procedure.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I guess I haven't followed him that closely. All I could think of was "new professionalism" or whatever that quote was. That and his line of questioning about why a dog handler would have a reason to incite a dog to give a false positive.

  • John Thacker||

    If you want to hate a justice on prosecutorial issues, Alito is the one to go after.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Those poor dogs.

  • ||

    OT

    Cyprus' banks will remain shut until Thursday to give regulators time to guard against a run on deposits. Some form of capital controls will be applied when the banks eventually reopen.

    Can anyone see a scenario that there wouldn't be a run? Maybe if they keep them closed fro a couple months?

    linky

  • John||

    You knew that was happening. They have stolen 100% of the money. The issue now is whether they will give any of it back. But whatever was in the banks now belongs to them not the depositors.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Only in the sense that the S&P 500 "stole" my money when stock prices go down. The banks made stupid investments and are now insolvent. I don't get why so many libertarians are upset that the government is only forcing other taxpayers to make up part of the depositors loss.

  • robc||

    The problem is the way they are doing it.

    And picking and choosing losers.

    If they just let the banks fail spectacularly, I would be okay with depositor losses.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    So basically you're just a garden variety sadist and your real complaint is that you're being robbed of your chance to see even more people's lives destroyed.

  • robc||

    Hail Eris!

    Referring to an article from yesterday(?), I want an anti-fragile banking system, which requires that the individual banks be fragile (and some other stuff too).

    Or, you know, Schumpeter.

  • ||

    So basically you're just a garden variety sadist and your real complaint is that you're being robbed of your chance to see even more people's lives destroyed.

    No, there is something to be said for allowing the banks to fail dramatically so as to set president for future mal-investment.

    Now, they don't need to invest wisely. They know they'll be bailed out.

  • R C Dean||

    They know they'll be bailed out.

    With their depositor's money.

    Stormy is promoting the short-term (let's save these banks and some of these depositors) over the long-term (hey, maybe we don't want to undermine the foundations of banking and create a slew of perverse incentives).

  • Invisible Finger||

    Of the two banks in questions, one is being liquidated, not bailed out.

    And now there are rumblings that the other bank that is allegedly being bailed out may also be liquidated.

    If that happens, then robc's wish is being fulfilled.

  • robc||

    Still not in the way I want it to happen.

    For one thing, the closing of banks and limitation on withdrawals prevents that from being the case.

    They are well past the point of doing it my way.

  • robc||

    Its not the outcome I care about, but the procedure.

  • Invisible Finger||

    robc, while I agree with you, there is no other way a fractional reserve system is going to operate. Capital controls are going to be put into place because the money isn't there to cover the deposits.

    There is no fair way. That is the moral hazard of fractional reserve banking.

  • robc||

    There is no fair way.

    Sure there is.

    1. Private insurance, get rid of FDIC or other government backed insurance.

    2. Depositors understand that the safety of their money depends on the solvency of the bank and the solvency of the insurance company.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Depositors understand that the safety of their money depends on the solvency of the bank and the solvency of the insurance company.

    Any depositor who didn't know this already was a fool and is certainly undeserving of a bailout.

    I understand your point about private insurance, good luck getting that implemented in the existing system. The FDIC and it's ilk exist because of the laziness of the populace. One is still free to trade their currency for rare earths and put them in safes.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    robc, your #2 there is going to mean the end of the banking system as we know it and the return of the mattress stuffing economy.

    If I have $10,000 to my name I'm not putting it someplace where I can easily lose it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Whoah there SD you're not supposed to reveal your true colors. Oh well we already knew you weren't a libertarian so frack it.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Oh you got me. I hold the unlibertarian position that insolvent Cyprian banks should be recapitalizard by their depositers instead of German taxpayers. I lack the ideological purity to go for the the Reason "keep the government out of my government bailout" position.

  • Loki||

    They shouldn't be recapitalized by German taxpayers either.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    That's precisely my point. The German taxpayers are the ones getting robbed, not the Cyprian depositors.

  • robc||

    And yet you call me a sadist for not wanting them to be robbed.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    No, I'm calling you a sadist for wanting to watch the world burn. I don't think anyone should be bailed out, but I'm sympathetic for the people losing large amounts of money in the process, so I hope that the unwinding can be done with as little "drama" as possible.

    You and Tulpa seem to want as much suffering as possible so you can vicariously enjoy watching people's loves destroyed. I just want the banks to be allowed to fail. I don't need them to fail "spectacularly" or "dramatically".

  • Loki||

    I don't get why so many libertarians are upset that the government is only forcing other taxpayers to make up part of the depositors loss.

    Really!? Is my sarcasm detector off or is this a real question?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Yes, I was being sarcastic. Taxpayers are being forced to bailout 60% of the Cyprian banks depositors. Libertarians should be arguing for MORE write-downs, instead everyone seems to be arguing the government is stealing money if it doesn't bailout the remaining 40% too.

    The depositors aren't the victims of government theft in this case; they're the beneficiaries of it.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Bondholders and shareholders of Bank Of Cyprus are getting the bulk of the bailout as it stands right now, although that bailout may not stand.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If the banks presented their checking and savings accounts as investments with a risk of loss, that would be OK. But they haven't; bank deposit accounts have been presented as "safe".

    And don't give me shit about the accounts being pilfered only if they're above the insurance limits; the ECB was totally OK with taking money out of supposedly "insured" accounts a week ago.

  • robc||

    the ECB was totally OK with taking money out of supposedly "insured" accounts a week ago.

    THIS.

    Damn, I hate agreeing with Tulpa.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    So if my bank goes under, you as a taxpayer have an obligation to make good on any promises they made me? The banks are insolvent; it doesn't matter if they promised the accounts were safe. The accounts WEREN'T safe.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Except in an actual liquidation, the bondholders and shareholders get a crew cut first and THEN depositors. In this situation, the entire burden is on depositors. So they're better off in the case of a liquidation than they are in this situation.

  • Invisible Finger||

    You aren't 100% accurate in the case of Cyprus.

    Two banks are in question here. One is being closed and its bondholders and shareholders are 100% wiped out; depositors are getting a small bailout. The other bank IS getting bailed out and its depositors (some of which are coming from the closed bank) are taking more of a haircut than its bondholders/shareholder, although that bailout may not go through according to some reports.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Except no, because under US bankruptcy law, uninsured deposits are treated just like any other unsecured creditor. They get paid out AFTER all the secured creditors are made whole, so it's quite possible the bondholders will make out better in a bank liquidation than a depositor depending on the type of bonds involved.

  • R C Dean||

    Just closing the banks for a long stretch increases the chances of a run. They are educating people that they can lose access to money in a bank at any time, for an indefinite period. Why wouldn't you take some of it, at least, out?

  • ||

    I'm kinda surprised it hasn't caused a run in some of the other EU trouble spots. If it were me, my money would be converted to gold and safely tucked away in a safe in my basement.

  • Invisible Finger||

    If there were bank runs in the other EU countries, you can bet that there would be official denials that it was happening. So it probably is happening.

  • Zeb||

    If I were in any of the shakier countries in Europe right now, I wouldn't keep any more in the bank right now than I need to pay bills.

  • Invisible Finger||

    One must also keep in mind that some countries have made cash payments over 1K illegal. That will mute some bank runs.

  • Raven Nation||

  • Way Of The Crane||

    A Drug Dog at Your Door is a Search, Supreme Court Says

    So what does this make a dog at your driver's side door then?

  • John||

    It goes back to the bullshit "expectation of privacy" standard. Basically the court has ruled that you don't have much expectation of privacy in your car, so you have very few 4th Amendment rights.

  • ||

    Don't see anything referring to an expectation of privacy in the 4A.

    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.
  • John||

    Me either. It is a joke of a legal doctrine. The worst part is that people's expectations change. So what is private one time might not be private in the future.

    Go read the jurisprudence on auto searches some time. It will make you vomit. Police power goes from "hey if you arrest a guy maybe the cop should have a right check around where he is at in the car to make sure he doesn't have a weapon" to "after he is arrested and in the squad car the cop can do a protective sweep of the whole car including the glove box provided it is unlocked.

  • Raven Nation||

    Check the original story that Sullum wrote for last month's Reason mag. The actual "alerting" in one of the vehicle searches could be a poster child for "unreasonable."

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    The idea is that the search is more or less "reasonable" depending upon our "expectation of privacy" at the time the search takes place.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    How much freedom in this country has been destroyed by that single word, "reasonable"?

  • ||

    I'm pretty fucking damn sure that my car is an "effect". And I'm also pretty fucking sure that when I shut something in my trunk or glove box or under the fucking seat...I have an expectation to privacy. If I didn't I'd have laid it on the seat next to me.

    When I rewrite the Constitution, I'm going to include a glossary and appendix A detailing the exact meaning of each word. And then in appendix B I'll define each word in appendix A.

    Make these fuckers work for their bullshit interpretations.

  • robc||

    Leaving off Appendix C will be your downfall.

  • Zeb||

    It's appendices all the way down?

  • entropy||

    Neo-Levitican.

    And Appendix C begot Appendix D, and Appendix D begot Appendixes E and F, from F descended forth Appendices F.1 and G, and from E became Appendix K and Appendixus, who did know G and begotest M-Q.3 in that knowing.

  • Alex||

  • Way Of The Crane||

    While you're at it, don't forget to define "Reasonable" and "Unreasonable."

  • ||

    So dogs can make "oaths"? If it's the dog's handler making an "oath" on the dog's behalf, that's hearsay.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. This pisses me off. The dog can't be crossexamined by the judge and is not objective physical evidence.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Motion to suppress != trial

    The dog sniff evidence is not used to prove guilt in a trial, it's used to prevent suppression of other evidence.

  • ||

    I'm not referring to an oath taken in a trial, but the oath specified in 4A.

    Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched

    How can a dog accomplish any of this? And again, the dog's handler "interpreting" the dog's actions is hearsay.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Oh, I see. But hearsay is OK when we're talking about justifying a warrant, otherwise anonymous tips wouldn't be grounds for a warrant.

  • Agammamon||

    Hmm, maybe they shouldn't be.

  • Ron||

    I've always considered my car to be a part of my "effects" otherwise does the state own my car. But for some reason people have allowed that to continue.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    And the only reason I can't "expect" privacy in my car is because the cops feel they have free reign to search it based on what a fucking dog tells them. God I love this country.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    The law prohibits you from tinting your car windows therefore you don't mind people staring into your car.

    That's about how twisted it is.

  • Agammamon||

    Or wieder - you can remove windows and replace them with solid material (within fairly broad limits) but you can't tint any windows too much.

  • gaoxiaen||

    rein

  • ||

    Doesn't go nearly far enough, but it's a move in the right direction.

    How did it go from this:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches...

    To:

    The right of the people to be secure in their home

  • Way Of The Crane||

    Those slippery slope arguments aren't looking to fallacious now are they?

  • Super Hans||

    It did, because we say so. Now STFU and bend over.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    What about people for whom their car is their home?

  • ||

    I think you've stumbled on to a winner.

  • ||

    Git me a winnybaygoooooooow!

  • sarcasmic||

    Public vagrancy is a crime.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    What's reasonable depends on where the search and seizure occurs.

    It's amazing how literalists ignore the meaning of words when it suits their purposes.

  • ||

    How so?

    rea·son·a·ble Adjective /ˈrēz(ə)nəbəl/

    Synonyms:
    adjective: rational, sensible, moderate, fair, sane
    1. (of a person) Having sound judgment; fair and sensible
    no reasonable person could have objected
    2. Based on good sense
    it seems a reasonable enough request
    the guilt of a person on trial must be proved beyond reasonable doubt
    3. (of a person or animal) Able to think, understand, or form judgments by a logical process
    man is by nature reasonable
    4. As much as is appropriate or fair; moderate
    a police officer may use reasonable force to gain entry
    5. Fairly good; average

    I see nothing referring to location. Nor does anything refer to location in the 4th.

  • ||

    Can someone explain the difference between this decision and last months?
    I'm totally fucking confused.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    Dogs still have magic powers but trespassing onto property with your magic dog is a search.

  • Super Hans||

    Officer: "My dog told me there were drugs in the car."

    Defense: "Can you prove that?"

    Officer: "No."

    Defense: "Oh."

    Officer: "Scalia says that's OK."

    Defense: "Objection!"

    Judge: "Overruled."

  • daveInAustin||

    The previous ruling says that a dog "signaling" something suspicious is sufficient for probable cause, even if the dog hasn't gone through rigorous testing to see if it's reliable. Claims of reliability are sufficient.
    With the latest ruling, the police will soon discover they have a dog can smell drugs in your house when he's sitting on the street.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    You nailed it.

  • Spartacus||

    The previous ruling says that a dog "signaling" something suspicious is sufficient for probable cause, even if the dog hasn't gone through rigorous testing to see if it's reliable. Claims of reliability are sufficient.

    And this is the same court that recently said that an agency should not be allowed to interpret its own rules. I guess consistency is not a major criterion.

  • Super Hans||

    I ANAL, but this ruling seems to be about WHEN/WHERE you can use the dog.
    The other ruling was about the sniffing itself being grounds for probable cause, if the dog indicated drugs.

  • R C Dean||

    Yup. And they can walk their dog past your house on the sidewalk. Amazingly, these wonder dogs will begin alerting even at that distance, thus providing probable cause to kick your door down and toss your house.

  • John Thacker||

    Unfortunately, there's only so much that legal ruling can do to restrict the rest of the state when it has "massive resistance" to them.

    The sentencing guidelines were supposed to restrict prosecutors as well, but they definitely know how to game the system, and "recommend" different levels of sentencing based on what they call damages, and so forth.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Dissent from Alito, joined by Kennedy, Roberts, and Breyer.

    Why should we impose an unreasonable burden on our noble defenders of Lawz and Orderz? Besides, if you walk up to the door and ask for permission to search, a "NO" is unquestionably probable cause.

    If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.

  • Super Hans||

    Which is why it's even more shocking that Scalia not only joined, but wrote the majority opinion.

  • John Thacker||

    No, it's not. Go and read his Kyllo opinion, or go and look at the long line of Confrontation Clause cases like Melendez-Diaz, which he also wrote, forcing lab techs to testify rather than just relying on their police reports to convict people. Or look at the GPS on cars opinion recently.

    This is exactly how I'd expect Justice Scalia to come down.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Dissent from Alito, joined by Kennedy, Roberts

    But remember, we need to keep voting Republican because of their awesome judicial nominee picks.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So what does this make a dog at your driver's side door then?

    Your rights disappear when you get into a car. Where do you think you are, Somalia?

    ROADZ!

  • ||

    Being in your own car on a public road means you are still subject to the "reasonable" search bullshit. But public employee working out in public still has expectations of privacy and can't be video or audio recorded.

    Cognitive dissonance, for the win!

  • entropy||

    That's why I like to drive my jeep on people's lawns.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Which is actually recording done by your employer- the public.

  • John Thacker||

    From Justice Scalia's opinion: "Complying with the terms of that traditional invitation does not require fine-grained legal knowledge; it is generally managed without incident by the Nation's Girl Scouts and trick-or-treaters."

  • John||

    That is a great line.

  • robc||

    Girl Scouts and Trick-or-Treaters are smarter than your average cop.

  • John||

    What Rob said.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Threadwinner.

  • Invisible Finger||

    They also have different incentives.

  • jasno||

    Right... Girl Scouts want your money, trick-or-treaters want your candy. Police want your money and your candy.

  • R C Dean||

    I now have a mental image of a room full portly and muscle-bound cops, hunched over their notebooks, brows furrowed as they try to follow the instructor at the front of the room (a Brownie) as she explains the mysteries of Girl Scout cookie sales.

  • Loki||

    "So, your saying you just knock on the door or ring the doorbell? Why not just kick the door and down, shoot any dogs you see, force everyone inside, including toddlers and infants face down on the floor at gun point, and then force them to buy your cookies? Wouldn't that be a lot simpler?"

  • Brett L||

    While they're at it, I'm sure the Girl Scout could teach them how to safely handle a gun so it doesn't just "go off".

  • BakedPenguin||

    Bullets were fired, cookies were sold.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Complying with the terms of that traditional invitation does not require fine-grained legal knowledge; it is generally managed without incident by the Nation's Girl Scouts and trick-or-treaters.

    Tell that to my smashed pumpkins, egged Echo, and TP'ed trees.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Funny how they always pick your yard, huh?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Probably because of my reputation for not condoning lawlessness.

  • T||

    Well, I'm sure your reputation has something to do with it...

  • gaoxiaen||

    That's because you were giving out condoms and the kids thought that they tasted terrible.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I wonder if Breyer would find a German Shepherd's snout shoved into his crotch to be intrusive or unusual.

    We should introduce him to Mark Kelly's dog.

  • Way Of The Crane||

  • Loki||

    SF'd the link.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    Of course I did...

    Try this

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    the one time you'd think they would shoot the dog they don't shoot the dog.

  • Brett L||

    OT: A discussion IRL about how I stole the moniker of 'Nazgul' from here to apply to USSC led to an uber-geeky discussion about how the One Ring would be the shittiest D&D artifact ever.

    One Ring: +5 to sneak, make a saving throw against wielding ultimate Chaotic Evil power and destroying the world 1x per day.

  • sarcasmic||

    The ring gives power according to stature. It gave hobbits invisibility because they were already good at sneaking around. Boromir wanted it because, as a great warrior and leader of men, it would have given him the power of Command. There's no telling what Saruman would have been able to do with it.

    It's usefulness depends upon who is using it.

  • Brett L||

    Okay, so +5 to your best attribute, but still...

  • sarcasmic||

    I can't speak to specifics of the game. The people who I knew who played it were so beyond socially challenged that even I couldn't stand their company.

  • ||

    Unless you are Sauron, in which case the Ring makes you win every die cast, no matter what.

  • Brett L||

    Unless someone sneaks up and cuts it off your finger. Apparently, that saving throw is losable.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    That wouldn't be a saving throw. That would just be a To Hit roll on the attacker's part. Granted, Sauron's AC has to be ridiculous, but crit hits do happen.

  • Loki||

    That would make sense, but I don't recall if the book actually explained that that was how the one ring worked. I'm wondering if that's explained in Simarillion (sp?) or elsewhere because I don't remember that being explained in the LOTR books.

    They definitely didn't explain it in the movies. There you're just kind of left wondering why people are getting so bent out of shape over a ring that turns you invisible, increases your lifespan, and makes you want to rule the world. Other than that last part, what's the big deal?

  • $park¥||

    All of the other rings were given to the leaders of their races. The One Ring allowed the wearer to control all of those other rings. It turned the men into the Nazgul for crying out loud. Given enough time, imagine what it would have turned the elven lords into.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    But then how did Frodo get stabbed by a holder of a lesser ring while he was wearing the One Ring? I thought only Sauron could use the One Ring to control the others.

  • sarcasmic||

    Wow. Talk about Tulpafying.

    Frodo got stabbed because the ring only made him invisible to the mortal world. It wasn't armor.

    The Nazgul did not hold the lesser rings. Those rings were on Sauron's hand. Gollum even said so.

    As far a control goes, again that's by stature. Frodo, with the ring on, gained power by stature. The Nazgul, being kings of men, had more power than him. As did Sauron. Putting on the ring brought him into their world, and under their power.

    Fuck. You couldn't have been more wrong and confusing if you tried.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Geez, sorry dude for not having photographic memory of the current location of the Nine Rings in the book. In the movie the Nazgul still had their rings, hence my confusion.

    And of course, the comment I was replying to would imply that Frodo had control over Sauron if we go by Gollum's comment in the book.

  • Brett L||

    The One Ring allowed the wearer to control all of those other rings.

    But again, it didn't allow just anyone to do this. Frodo couldn't send the Nazgul away while wearing it. If your level 5 thief gets it, you only get a small buff and the downside sucks.

  • Loki||

    Right, "Only Sauron can wield the ring." Paraphrasing, but I'm pretty sure Gandalf states this in both the book and the movie.

  • sarcasmic||

    I believe it was when Gandalf explained why he did not want the ring for himself. I could be wrong. While I have read the books over twenty times, I haven't read them since they became "cool." I'm getting rusty.

  • Loki||

    Right, I seem to recall Gandalf saying, when Frodo offered him the ring, "I would use the ring out of a desire to do good, but through me unspeakable evil would be done." Or something to that effect. Maybe in the book he goes into a longer explanation of what the ring does. It's been a while since I read them.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Gandalf said:

    'No!' cried Gandalf, springing to his feet. 'With that power I should have power too great and terrible. And over me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more deadly.' His eyes flashed and his face was lit as by a fire within. 'Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good. Do not tempt me! I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe, unused. The wish to wield it would be too great, for my strength. I shall have such need of it. Great perils lie before me.'

    And when Galadriel was offered the ring by Frodo, this was her response:

    “And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”

    It seems clear that the rings power would magnify the wielder's, and twist them into an evil caricature of their former selves.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And before he gave up the ring, Sam was tempted to become the master gardener of the world, covering the earth with growing things. So it seems that Tolkien was implying what sarcasmic is saying, but I'm unaware of him laying it out explicitly.

  • sarcasmic||

    ’No one ever found out what had become of Deal; he was murdered far from home, and his body was cunningly hidden. But Sméagol returned alone; and he found that none of his family could see him, when he was wearing the ring. He was very pleased with his discovery and he concealed it; and he used it to find out secrets, and he put his knowledge to crooked and malicious uses. He became sharp-eyed and keen-eared for all that was hurtful. The ring had given him power according to his stature. It is not to be wondered at that he became very unpopular and was shunned (when visible) by all his relations. They kicked him, and he bit their feet. He took to thieving, and going about muttering to himself, and gurgling in his throat. So they called him Gollum, and cursed him, and told him to go far away; and his grandmother, desiring peace, expelled him from the family and turned him out of her hole."
  • sarcasmic||

    Do I need to re-post with "according to his stature" in bold, Tuplypoo?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Well, even in the book there are only two non-hobbit wearers of the Ring, Isildur and Sauron, both from long before the Hobbit or LOTR. So it's kind of hard to judge for sure.

  • Brett L||

    Gollum, who also only got invisibility.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    He was a hobbit.

  • John Thacker||

    Not true, Tom Bombadil put it on briefly, no?

  • sarcasmic||

    Yep. And it had no power over him because he was his own master.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Quite right. My love for the kiwi's films has clearly slowed my mind.

  • ||

    I always thought of it as the One Ring makes everyone THINK they will have Sauron level absolute power, but it actually only gives that power to Sauron. ("The one ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master.")

    Or perhaps it's like there are always unintended consequences for everyone except Sauron. Only Sauron can impose price controls and have those price controls actually work. For everyone else, you get shortages.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Ah, I hadn't thought of that. In the movie, Isildur becomes invisible when he puts it on, so it's not just hobbits. But Sauron of course is plainly visible when wearing it.

  • Loki||

    I don't recall Isildur turning invisible when he puts it on in the movie. In fact I don't recall Isildur actually putting it on at all. I remember him refusing to throw it into Mt Doom, but I thought he just walked away holding it in his hand, and later when he looses it I thought it was on a chain around his neck. I may be mistaken though, it's been a while since I saw the first movie.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    He put it on during an orc attack during the prologue, then jumped into a body of water in an attempt to get away. It slipped off his hand and he was immediately hit by an orc arrow. That's the movie's explanation for how it eventually wound up in Gollum's possession.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's from the books too, and explains why the ring was also called Isildur's Bane.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Ah yes. The wiki says that Unfinished Tales has him disappearing when he puts it on, but drowns in the Anduin after the ring comes off his finger.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I guess it would make me a porn star invulnerable to STDs.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    One Ring: +5 to sneak, make a saving throw against wielding ultimate Chaotic Evil power and destroying the world 1x per day.

    Is this some obscure geek equivalent of,

    "Pewpewpew! You're DEAD"

    "No I'm not. YOU MISSED ME!"

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Euros in Cyprus are like ammo in the US. Anyone who thinks there won't be a run is insane.

    And Cyprus doesn't have a printing press like we have here.

  • robc||

    Im sure they could pound out a trillion euro coin.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Suck it, Dunphy.

  • Agammamon||

    Wait, I'm confused. So a dog at the front door *is* a search, but the same dog at the driver's door is *not*?

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Don't think about it too hard, man. The cognitive dissonance that occurs from trying to make sense of policy is enough to collapse the skull.

  • MisterDamage||

    A dog at your front door is on your property without your permission, a dog at the driver's door is on public property.

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