Jacob Sullum on the Border Patrol's License to Harass Motorists


Richard Rynearson

There are two ways to view the video of Richard Rynearson's March 2010 encounter with U.S. Border Patrol agents at an immigration checkpoint in Uvalde County, Texas. Authoritarians will say Rynearson should have been more cooperative, while libertarians will say the agents should have been less vindictive.

Both perspectives were on display in a decision issued last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Unfortunately, says Jacob Sullum, the authoritarians won, passing up an opportunity to impose limits on an alarming exception to the Fourth Amendment.