Two recent cases demonstrate the threat. In an 8-1 Supreme Court ruling last month (Kentucky v. King), Whitehead says the court "effectively decimated the Fourth Amendment by giving police more leeway to break into homes or apartments without a warrant when in search of illegal drugs which they suspect might be destroyed if notice were given."
In the other ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court (Barnes v. State) said people do not have the right to resist police officers entering their homes illegally. Resistance, notes Whitehead, can be as simple as saying, "Wait, this is my home. What's this about?"
If governments are permitted to slowly erode the Fourth Amendment and the public won't resist, then not only that amendment, but others protecting speech, religion, the right to keep and bear arms and who knows what else could be in jeopardy.
Incidents like the one in Stockton should cause conservatives and liberals to be more vigilant about the encroaching power of government. If a gang of cops, acting on behalf of the Department of Education, can break down your door in possible violation of the Fourth Amendment, then none of us is safe.
The New York Times reports the FBI's approximately 14,000 agents are being given "significant new powers" that will allow them more freedom to search databases, examine your trash and use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who attract their attention.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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