Privacy

The 190-Million Person Exception to the Fourth Amendment

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In the 1976 case U.S. v. Martinez-Fuerte, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that contra the Fourth Amendment, the government can set up roadblock checkpoints within 100 miles of the nation's borders in order to check for illegal immigrants and smuggling.  The Court ruled that if the stops are brief, limited to that purpose, and not fishing expeditions, the minimal invasion to personal privacy is outweighed by the government's interest in protecting the border.

The ACLU says that since September 11, 2001, the government has been steadily stretching the limits of Martinez, to the point where the Department of Homeland Security is using that case and the terrorism threat to conduct more thorough, more invasive searches at dozens of checkpoints across the country.  With 33 checkpoints now in operation, we're not exactly to the point of "Ihre Papiere, bitte" Berlin yet, but the ACLU does warn that the area of the country 100 miles from every border and coastline would include about 190 million people, or nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population (see map below).

Moreover, post-9/11, the courts have been pretty deferential to increasingly invasive searches the government says are necessary for national security purposes.  For example, federal courts have given the okay to airport seizures and thorough searches of laptops and other electronic devices belonging to people returning from abroad.  Such searches can be conducted with no individualized suspicion at all.  Some of those subjected to them have said it took weeks for the government to return their computers.

Should the courts uphold these increasingly invasive "border searches" under some vague national security exception, I don't think it's too much of an exaggeration to say that the Fourth Amendment would be close to non-existent for a large portion of the country.

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  1. So basically, everywhere that actually has large cities.

  2. someone told me there needs to be as big a deal about Griswold vs Connecticut as there is about Roe vs Wade, & i’m inclined to agree emphatically…now i’m not even a lawyer of the shithouse variety (does getting shitfaced on IceHouse count, mmm…), but what kind of silky legal skulduggery has subverted this Supreme court ruling? the Patriot ACT? Bush vs Gore? a million war on some drugs cases before & since? imbibing minds want to know…

  3. Shouldn’t the government be more suspicious of people arriving in our country without laptops? Obviously, these are the terrorists clever enough to arrive in our country without any computer equipment, then buy/steal a laptop and download their nefarious plans once they’re safely past Customs.

  4. That makes my little corner of Missouri seem uncrowded

  5. the 4th and most of the 1st seemed to be the croaked canaries in their minshaft gap plot to kill the Bill of Rights…then they saw they could do away w/ the 6th, 8th, 10th, etc. with half the country & the whole Establishment cheerin em on, it still makes my head swim…

  6. Hey, ACLU, what about me! You never call, you never write . . I feel like you don’t love me ACLU.

  7. I see the three most tourist-filled states are entirely covered (Florida, Hawaii and Main.) And Alaska’s Banana Strip is also entirely covered. How convenient.

  8. I dunno–it looks to me like pretty much all of Michigan is also covered. Sigh…

  9. Can I inversely channel SIV and point out that the two dissenters in U.S. v. Martinez-Fuerte were two of those liberal judicial activists everyone* bitches about?

    * I know libertarians are much better on this btw, I read Damon Root’s stuff here defending “activism”

  10. The problem with the fourth amendment is that government gets to judge both the reasonableness of the search and how probable the cause is. Of course, there is nothing in the text of the amendment itself that authorizes the government to be such a judge.

  11. MNG-

    Libertarians are the best on this!

  12. libertymike – that’s why we have these neat institutions called “juries”.

  13. MNG-

    There is a 1967 United States Supreme Court case, Pierson v Ray, that is a great example of illegal judicial activism at work. In that case, the issue was whether a judge was absolutely immune from facing a civil rights lawsuit. The illegal judicial activism was the court’s decision to immunize judges from civil lawsuits-notwithstanding the fact that there was no language in the Civil Rights Act of 1871 that excepted judges from its ambit.

    Justice Douglas did write a powerful dissent.

  14. TAO-

    Trouble is the courts will not let parties or their counsel tell the juries that they have the absolute, yes, ablsolute, right to nullify the law.

  15. TAO-

    There are just too many matters that go to the jury that should not.

  16. Say, that’s all of Florida.

  17. MNG,

    The search your hard drive for no reason at all when you return from abroad was upheld unanimously by a 3 Judge panel from the The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.IIRC that is the most liberal Fed Appeals court in the US based out of San Francisco.Liberal Judges cede all power to the State as the liberal SCOTUS Judges did in Kelo and Raich.Expect more of this type from President Obama.

  18. I should have said “more of these judges from Radley Balko’s endorsed Presidential candidate”.
    Obama’s judicial appointments should keep Balko busy on the Civil Liberties beat.

  19. Hey, at least Real America (TM) is protected by an orange safety cordon.

  20. I should have said “more of these judges from Radley Balko’s endorsed Presidential candidate”.
    Obama’s judicial appointments should keep Balko busy on the Civil Liberties beat.

    Radley Balko is voting for Bob Barr.

    And while the left hasn’t been great on search and seizure, liberal justices have certainly on par been far better than conservative justices. All else being equal, I’d rather have more justices like Stevens on Fourth Amendment cases than McCain’s promise of more Alitos and Robertses.

  21. How the fuck is northern Illinois within the limit? The Canucks don’t touch Lake Michigan (so the same goes for Wisconsin and western Michigan – the border runs through Superior and Huron.)

  22. Martinez v. Fuerte is compatible with libertarianism and TOTALLY AWESOME, I swear.

  23. Radley

    Good to hear you are voting for Bob Barr Radley. I think a lot of readers, like me, took your column for an Obama endorsement.Too bad Stevens is so wrong on everything else.

  24. Why do people bitch that the ACLU doesn’t handle 2nd Amendment cases? The NRA handles that one fine. No one minds that the NRA doesn’t give two shits about the 4th.

  25. Why do people bitch that the ACLU doesn’t handle 2nd Amendment cases? The NRA handles that one fine.

    The NRA has opposed (behind the scenes, not in court) every attempt to get a ruling on the 2A. They have never brought nor given material support to a single court case on the 2A, as far as I know.

  26. I only read the first few words and I didn’t read the comments… however! I’m going to guess that the fact that the ACLU is collaborating with the Mexican government is both relevant and was also not mentioned by Balko.

    Also, I should add that the ACLU claims not to be taking any money from that government, which means there’s more for Reason, if they so wished. Cash in! It’s the libruhtarian way.

  27. VT on 91S just below 89 has been a ‘check’ for about 4 years. I now purposely drive around it (adds about 10 mins) after the last stop ‘mind if I run some dogs around your car?’ For once my own dog woke up at the right moment and wigged out.

    This check point is nothing but a fishing adventure.

  28. They haven’t gotten a ruling yet saying they can draw 100-mile radius circles around all of the international airports, too? I suppose slacker fascists are better than pro-active fascists.

  29. And Lonewacko is on the case! (The Constitution is on stand-by)

  30. Say, that’s all of Florida.

    You know, that *is* all of Florida.

    And Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

    And Hawai’i.

    Can’t some of these states sue?

  31. Shit, nearly forgot Delaware.

  32. Looks like they got all of New Jersey, but Maryland has a sliver in the safe zone.

  33. The complete nullification of the forth amendment throughout the whole of the country is a fait accompli, courtesy the WOD and MADD. The government can search whomever and whatever it wants at any time. I’m surprised they still bother to give a pretext.

  34. Shit, nearly forgot Delaware.

    Well, it is the Poland of the Mid-Atlantic.

    Although that could just be Biden that leaves that impression.

  35. Why do people bitch that the ACLU doesn’t handle 2nd Amendment cases? The NRA handles that one fine. No one minds that the NRA doesn’t give two shits about the 4th.

    Probably the same reason no one complains that General Motors doesn’t make toilet paper, but people do complain that MTV doesn’t play music.

    Q: How does an ACLU lawyer count to ten?
    A: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

  36. Am I the only one who is guessing that this ruling only supposes that checkpoints constitute a “reasonable” search within 100 miles of a LAND border, ie. Mexico and Canada? Wouldn’t apply to coastlines anywhere? Right?

  37. I’m not sure if Lake Michigan is considered “coastline” in reality; it seems more likely the ACLU is exaggerating a bit, similar to what they’re doing with the “Constitution-Free Zone” title. There are no international borders within that lake, so they may as well consider the banks of the Mississippi to be international borders. The reality is bad enough, no need to ruin your credibility by overstating things.

  38. And Lonewacko is on the case! (The Constitution is on stand-by)

    He’s a pathetic useful idiot and a fraud. What do you expect?

  39. Asharak: thanks for your intelligent commentary, given from behind your sockpuppet. Perhaps you’d care to drop some backup for your statements and I’ll pick them up in the morn.

  40. I’m not sure if Lake Michigan is considered “coastline” in reality; it seems more likely the ACLU is exaggerating a bit…

    Look up the U.S.-Canadian Boundary Waters Treaty.

  41. “It is further agreed that so long as this treaty shall remain in force, this same right of navigation shall extend to the waters of Lake Michigan…”

  42. Asharak: thanks for your intelligent commentary, given from behind your sockpuppet. Perhaps you’d care to drop some backup for your statements and I’ll pick them up in the morn.

    I’ve always had this handle, you sad little man.

  43. The 33 checkpoints referenced in the article above are only the tip of the iceberg. They are permanent Homeland Security checkpoint installations that have been setup along nexus points for border traffic along the Southern border with Mexico.

    Homeland Security operates many more ‘temporary’ or ‘tactical’ checkpoints along secondary roads.

    I’ve been documenting my experiences at one such ‘tactical’ checkpoint since January 2008. Videos of my encounters at this checkpoint, which is located over 40 miles North of the border along SR86 in Southern Arizona, can be found at:

    http://www.youtube.com/CheckpointUSA

    SR86 is an East-West highway that never intersects the border at any point. Full writeups of these checkpoint encounters can be found on my blog at:

    https://www.checkpointusa.org/blog

  44. SIV, one of those “liberal” judges in Raisch was Scalia. (In truth, Thomas proved he’s the only intellectually consistent and coherent justice we’ve got left with his Raisch dissent, and “conservatives” *really* want to forget about it, because they know they’re on weak intellectual ground with Scalia’s drugwar-worship.

  45. And GM *does* make toilet paper — think “Ditech.com” & the associated constant commercials taxpayers are now helping them to finance.

  46. no one complains that General Motors doesn’t make toilet paper

    [insert comment about selling me a lemon/paid workers in Fed Reserve notes/issued declining shares]

  47. Terry: Whoa! Rocks indeed.

  48. In truth the whole country should be red.Ever heard of D.U.I. checkpoints?That came frommS.C.O.T.U.S. also,due to the high(false) number of deaths caused by drinking and driving.

  49. Michael Pack, not doubting, just want to know more. Would you help me with a source?

  50. Bravo! Where were you and the ACLU on DWI roadblocks, open container laws, curfews, lowering the drinking age, motorcycle helmet laws, vehicle inspection roadblocks, cell phone use while driving laws, etc.???

  51. anarch,Check out DUI BLOG.Radley links to it at times.

  52. “Too bad Stevens is so wrong on everything else.”

    Poor SIV, he knows Stevens is better on this issue, but can only say so in a way that affirms his conservative bias…

    The conservatives on the court have just been terrible on the fourth amendment, terrible. Yes, you can cite the thermal imaging case for them, but beyond that you are treading some thin water.

    Don’t buy it because I say it: order a cheap criminal procedure law casebook or treatiste second hand on Amazon and have a read. The conservative justices bow to the badge over and over again.

  53. And if you really want to see someone defend the 4th amendment (or any other) rights of the accused, forget the moderage Stevens and look at Brennan and Marshall’s opinions on the matter.

  54. “Bravo! Where were you and the ACLU on DWI roadblocks, open container laws, curfews, lowering the drinking age, motorcycle helmet laws, vehicle inspection roadblocks, cell phone use while driving laws, etc.???”

    Urr, it took me about ten seconds to find out they have acted against
    roadblocks
    http://www.aclu.org/scotus/2003/21076res20030930021060/21076res20030930.html
    curfews
    http://www.aclu.org/crimjustice/gen/10154prs19990913.html

    So where were liberals? Out fighting for your rights, thank you. Can you imagine a conservative organization bringing those law suits?

  55. Here’s what I don’t get about the court’s logic on this internal checkpoints issue:

    They already have the authority to conduct warrantless searches at the border itself.

    So aren’t they basically asking, “Can we have warrantless searches 100 miles inside the border to do over the warrantless searches we did at the border?”

    If large numbers of persons are evading the searches at the border, the place to deal with that is at the border.

    Asking for general searches at non-border locations is like the cops saying, “Well, we had a warrant to search this warehouse for stolen goods, but when we got here it was empty. They evaded our search! Now we want permission to do a warrantless search of every person and vehicle within 100 miles to find the stuff we didn’t find in this warehouse.”

  56. Six comments.

    It took six comments for someone to try to change the subject from the fact that 190 million Americans can be searched without cause, to gun control.

    Pathetic.

  57. I will ask again – since I’m really not sure – but does the checkpoint rule extend along the entire coastline of the continental US, Alaska AND Hawaii? or just the land borders between CONUS and Canada/Mexico, and Alaska and Canada?

    I doubt that 190 million Americans live within a hundred miles of the Canadian and Mexican borders. It makes quite a lot of difference.

  58. Joe, the war on the 4th Amendment is a covert war on the 2nd. That’s what “conservatives” don’t get, and libertarians do, but it’s NOT “changing the subject” to point out the obvious when even the ACLU (not exactly a bastion of gun rights) admits it.

  59. Obsessed. It’s like there aren’t any other subjects worth thinking about.

    Hmm…what does this mean for gun ownership? That’s what I wanna know.

  60. Flyover country gets the last laugh.

  61. Flyover country: Free to move around but with nowhere to go.

    Oh, the cruelest ironies…

  62. Joe, it’s part of a long-term political chess game, not obsession. The grab lobby (hey, they get to call us “the gun lobby,” this is just truth in terminology the other way around!) has tried and failed with the direct approach for decades, losing election after election. Once they hooked up with the antidrug statists of the Republican party, they’ve been winning, slowly, by eroding the 4th. No 4th effectively means “eventually no 2nd,” and they know it. Stating the obvious isn’t “obsession,” it’s stating the obvious.

  63. Isn’t the “examine/seize” the laptop thing at the border different legally since you have not officially entered the country yet, and therefore not subject to the 4th amendment? If you are driving around and get searched at a ridiculous checkpoint, then it seems you definitely are covered by it…

  64. Isn’t the “examine/seize” the laptop thing at the border different legally since you have not officially entered the country yet,

    If you’re on US soil, you have entered the country and are protected by the Constitution.

  65. Don,I don’t think so.There’s not a no man’s land between say ,the U.S. and Canada.You either in or out.It’s like being ‘kinda’ pregnant.Much of this stems from the war on drugs.

  66. Chicago and Milwaukee are much farther than 100 miles from Canada.

  67. The constitution does not limit governemnt action on U.S. territory.

    If the U.S. cosntitution does not grant a power to the government, it means that the governemnt legally does not posess that power anywhere.

    Of course, this is meaningless argument; a criminal gang will do whatever the hell it thinks it can get away with. The gang calling itself “The Federal Governemnt of the United States of America” is no different in that regard. Oh, occasionally a Consiglieri will say that doing X, while possible, is not a good idea, but generally speaking, if they can do X and get away with it, they’ll do it, and rationalize the “legality” later.

  68. “Chicago and Milwaukee are much farther than 100 miles from Canada.”

    8 C.F.R. ? 287.1(b) appears to say that if the Border Patrol thinks that 100 miles from the actual border isn’t reasonable, they can measure from some other place.

  69. Ah, what the hell: if, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” actually means nobody in Washington, DC can buy or own a gun…

    And the commerce clause means, “you have no right to grow wheat in your backyard”…

    And the ninth amendment is an “inkblot”…

    Then why should the fourth amendment count for anything?

  70. I just typed a long comment about Border Patrol roadblocks on US 1 at Florida City and their affect on Conch Republic secessionism.

    But the server sqirrels ated it and I’m not doing it again.

  71. It took six comments for someone to try to change the subject from the fact that 190 million Americans can be searched without cause, to gun control.

    What is pathetic, Joe, is your apparent incomprehensible inability to understand that defying one part of the constitution quite naturally leads to annulment of the entire constitution.

  72. “the minimal invasion to X is outweighed by the government’s interest in Y”

    As soon as SCOTUS made statements like this the Constitution was a dead duck.

  73. “”” I suppose slacker fascists are better than pro-active fascists”””

    The only good fascists is a dead fascists.

  74. “””As soon as SCOTUS made statements like this the Constitution was a dead duck.”””

    Pretty much. With the combined amount of college SCOTUS has, you would think they could keep a consistent definition of minimal. I hold no hope.

  75. What is pathetic, Joe, is your apparent incomprehensible inability to understand that defying one part of the constitution quite naturally leads to annulment of the entire constitution.

    Actually, I’m having trouble understanding that, too. Weakened maybe, damaged maybe, but annulled?

  76. Actually, I’m having trouble understanding that, too. Weakened maybe, damaged maybe, but annulled?

    Does not weakening ultimately lead to disintegration?

    Either the government abides by, and respects the rule of law, or we have no law. Seems relatively simple to me.

  77. “Does not weakening ultimately lead to disintegration?”

    Weakening does not “lead” to anything. There are underlying causes that lead to weakening, strengthening and even not changing at all.

  78. Weakening does not “lead” to anything. There are underlying causes that lead to weakening, strengthening and even not changing at all.

    Tell that to the camel with the broken back.

  79. Weakened maybe, damaged maybe, but annulled?

    We’re getting there, with exceptions increasingly existing only at the margins.

    The central doctrine of enumerated federal powers has been effectively annulled, with very few exceptions, by the Omnipotent Commerce Clause and the misreading of the General Welfare Clause as a grant of power.

    Various of the Bill of Rights are either dead letters/”inkblots”, or so ridden with loopholes as to be nearly meaningless. That’s not to say there isn’t life in some of them, but lets not kid ourselves about which way the trend is running.

    Even the most vigorous of the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment, has taken a number of serious flesh wounds in recent decades (McCain-Feingold, the commercial speech exception, hostile workplace/hate speech laws, etc.).

  80. Mike Laursen,

    I guess you are just not as pessimistic as me.

  81. wayne, I was commenting purely on the logicality of your statement. It didn’t seem that you were engaging in hyperbole colored by pessimism, but literally saying that destruction of the Second Amendment absolutely, automatically, inevitably nullifies ever other right in the Constitution.

    But, yeah, I’m probably not as pessimistic as you are. I used to be, but realized over the years that being too pessimistic leads to self-defeat.

  82. Ultimately, a constitution isn’t enough to protect against a government dedicated to oppressing its own people.

    Why is it that even the 1970s seems like a distant golden age of personal freedom? Governments at all levels heavily intrude on our personal freedoms in ways that would have been unimaginable even to Richard Nixon.

  83. Oh, Richard Nixon could imagine quite a lot, but point taken.

  84. We have no forth. Yahoo or google search
    “tony creed task force raid”

    If you tell the, no they can’t search you at those checkpoints they’ll bring out a dog and his handler will say he alerted to drugs. After they tear you car up and don’t find anything they’ll let you go but won’t way they’re sorry. Cops can do anything they want to. Get over it.

  85. It didn’t seem that you were engaging in hyperbole colored by pessimism, but literally saying that destruction of the Second Amendment absolutely, automatically, inevitably nullifies ever other right in the Constitution.

    There is only one legitimate method to “destroy” a portion of the constitution, and that is by amendment.

    In my view when any of the amendments are ignored, then none of the rest are trustworthy. When a local government (DC, Chicago, etc) maintains blatantly unconstitutional “laws” for decades, then how can the constitution be depended upon as the basis for law in the US?

    I realize that it is politically correct to ignore 2A, and that such unlawful conduct is highly favored by a large segment of our society, but such conduct undermines our entire constitution. Today it is 2A and 4A and 9A, tomorrow maybe it will be 1A. What foundational principle do we fall back on when that happens, the constitution… what constitution?

    That is the point I was making by my nullification comment. Frankly, I thought my point was so painfully obvious that it needed no clarification.

  86. wayne, I was commenting purely on the logicality of your statement.

    Just to defend my logic. I said “leads to nullification”, which means put on the road to nullification, get the process of degeneration started, etc. Would you not agree that our constitution ain’t what it used to be?

  87. I’d agree that regard for the Constitution ain’t what it used to be.

    I wouldn’t agree that weakening, ignoring, etc. one part of the Constitution necessarily leads to the same thing happening to the other parts.

    Take the ACLU, for example. They don’t hold the Second Amendment in much regard, but they fight pretty hard for other parts of the Constitution. The Constitution covers a whole bunch of different topics, and different groups care passionately about one part while not caring about other parts.

    On the other hand, some aspects of the Constitution if taken far enough will eventually undermine everything. The Interstate Commerce Clause, for example. I support the Second Amendment, but I wouldn’t put it on the list of rights that, if lost, would bring down the entire rest of the Constitution.

  88. On the other hand, some aspects of the Constitution if taken far enough will eventually undermine everything. The Interstate Commerce Clause, for example. I support the Second Amendment, but I wouldn’t put it on the list of rights that, if lost, would bring down the entire rest of the Constitution.

    So, you think it’s OK (for “them”) to simply ignore select portions of the constitution? How do you know which of the amendments are being ignored? By reading the minds of our leaders? If you can’t read the minds of our leaders, then how do you follow the law since it is plain that merely reading and understanding the words in the law is of no use?

    My position is that the constitution is the foundation of our system of law, and that no part of it can be disregarded.

    Certainly it is reasonable to amend the constitution. That is what the pro-gun-grab crowd should do with 2A and 4A and 9A. Until they succeed in abolishing 2A in a lawful manner though, they just have to suck it up and live with all of us gun-toting lunatics.

    The ACLU should change their name to properly reflect the fact that they don’t hold ALL of our civil liberties in the same regard.

    I wouldn’t agree that weakening, ignoring, etc. one part of the Constitution necessarily leads to the same thing happening to the other parts.

    I don’t see how you come to such a conclusion.

  89. So, you think it’s OK (for “them”) to simply ignore select portions of the constitution?

    When did I say that?

    How do you know which of the amendments are being ignored?

    The way we all do. By following the news, court decisions, studying history.

    Certainly it is reasonable to amend the constitution. That is what the pro-gun-grab crowd should do with 2A…

    I agree. When did we shift from talking about the comparitive vulnerability of the Constitution to being undermined in various ways, to assumptions about what I think various groups that I don’t control should or shouldn’t do?

    The ACLU should change their name to properly reflect the fact that they don’t hold ALL of our civil liberties in the same regard.

    Or you could be grateful to them for all they do do to defend the Constitution. And support the NRA, as well.

    I don’t see how you come to such a conclusion.

    Let’s say, hypothetically, that the Second Amendment were completely undermined, but the American people zealously defended their right to free speech and free worship. The First Amendment would still be strong, although the Second was trashed. That’s all I’m saying.

  90. Let’s say, hypothetically, that the Second Amendment were completely undermined, but the American people zealously defended their right to free speech and free worship.

    How?

  91. Thank you peachy, MPack and Russ.
    When drug war, traffic enforcement and homeland security intersect i get VERY nervous.
    Yes, props to the ACLU on beating back roadblocks.
    At least the STATE supremes in WI and MI have found them lacking.
    IL ain’t so fortunate.
    Between Daley II’s and Blagidiots love of automated cameras, it’s ALREADY too powerful for a possible police state to access.
    Oh and Bloomberg wants term limit variance?
    It’s by no means just an D failure and it’s frightening.
    And give the ACLU a break none of the other Ammendments have the NRA’s or Rs backing mmk?

  92. I dunno. It’s a hypothetical. Umm, say that Congress passed a temporary gun ban in the wake of a school shooting, then, in the wake of a terrorist attack, extended it indefinitely in a rider to a spending bill, and the Supreme Court upheld their action. But in that same time frame, Congress didn’t happen to push any infringements on free speech or freedom of worship.

  93. Whoops, forgot the “zealously defended” part of my hypothetical: after the terrorist attack, Congress tried to pass a moratorium on seditious statements that aid and abet our enemies in the Global War on Terrorism. However, a grassroots coalition of the ACLU, the Ron Paul Legal Foundation, and a group calling themselves Reason! Now! worked to successfully quash the bill.

  94. Since my earlier attempt at humor was not successful, I’ll repeat:

    NRA = National Rifle Association

    ACLU = American Civil Liberties Union

    Hence the reason people expect the ACLU to defend all civil liberties, but don’t expect the NRA to get involved in issues that have nothing to do with guns.

  95. Since my earlier attempt at humor was not successful…

    Don’t sell yourself short. The 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, … joke was kinda funny.

    Yet I’m a person, and I don’t expect that organizations do exactly what the organization’s title implies. Book. Cover.

  96. Orange Line Special | October 23, 2008, 2:11am | #

    Asharak: thanks for your intelligent commentary, given from behind your sockpuppet. Perhaps you’d care to drop some backup for your statements and I’ll pick them up in the morn.

    I can help = search the reason page for any mention of “lonewacko” and you’ll see that Asharak’s characterization as “pathetic”, “idiot” and “fraud” are all quite accurate.

    “Useful” i think is certainly debatable

  97. Ugh, we DO get it cunnivore..
    But if 2 out of 3 ‘ain’t bad’ with meatloaf, i’ll take 9 of 10. It’s not that they don’t find it worth defending as much as a pragmatic prioritizing knowing that the NRA and, oh yeah THE GOP as a whole got it covered….

    But yeah, the ‘1, 3, 4, 5’ was funny. I will use it on many an ACLU fan that still hasn’t smelt the coffee on the importance of 2.
    It’s often a cosmo’s last ideological hurdle.
    Pointing them to the defense of Heller on Kos is a good start.

  98. For years the Constitution could be compaired to a large solid dam, protecting the area downstream from being washed away. It was a line that dared not be crossed by the court system.

    Then the SCOTUS started making rulings that stated “that the Government’s intrest outweighed the intrusion upon the individual’s rights. This was the first crack in that dam. As soon as one Right was intruded upon, it weakened all of the others. Plain and simple SOCTUS crossed the line and nothing happened to them. Now they have no fear in crossing that line again. Everytime that they do it adds another crack to that dam. Sooner or later the dam is going to fail.

  99. It all seems more obvious to me now. How can any organization defend “civil liberties” when the state no longer recognizes them. The USA is still #1 when it comes to fear based ignorance.Go ahead, build the WALL high,it’ll make even more noise when it falls.

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