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The Supreme Court and the Police State

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posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 08:41 PM
There are two meanings to the term "police state." The first is its most commonly accepted connotation: Facism, or the Orwellian vision of Big Brother. A more and archaic use of the term shows up in some older supreme court decisions. In this use usage the term "Police State" refers to those functions of government necessary to enforce its laws. However, due to the negative connotations of the term, this usage is almost never seen any more. (Furthemore, I think that the particular justice who was partial to the second usage has long since died)

A recent Supreme Court ruling has moved those two usages of the terms closer than ever.

To what degree are you protected by the 5th amendment?

First a bit of background: Dudley Hiible was arrested for obstructing justice. here is his side of the case. Be sure to check out the video of the actual arrest.

Here is the Supreme Court opinion on the case. (5 to 4 upholding the Nevada statute).

What is interesting is that the court has once again split down the same ideological lines as usual. Was this the right decision? Is this the beginning of the end, or is this just a tempest in a teapot?

Personally, I find it indicative of a troubling trend lately. Once again I am disappointed in the court. (I especially dislike the apparent uselessness of Justice Clarence Thomas, but that is outside of the scope of this thread).

posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 09:15 PM
It was interesting to read in the legal opinion that had Hiible verbally identified himself he then would have satisfied the state statute on identification, it appears that had he done that and then the officer persisted in the way he did that Hiible would have then had a successful case.

The court also said and I have to agree that Hiible giving his name was not self incrimination violating the fifth amendment.

But thats the dry distant legalese of the Supreme Court.

Back in the real world,

These Police officers should be fired for their poor conduct and escalation of a situation that had no reason for getting out of hand the way it did.

The Daughter would seem to have grounds for a case against the police for false arrest.

posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 09:43 PM

Originally posted by Phoenix
The court also said and I have to agree that Hiible giving his name was not self incrimination violating the fifth amendment.

I dislike the implications which are spelled out in the brief:

If a case arises where there is a substantial allegation that furnishing identity at the time of a stop would have given the police a link in the chain of evidence needed to convict the individual of a separate offense, the court can then consider whether the Fifth Amendment privilege applies,
whether it has been violated, and what remedy must follow. Those questions need not be resolved here.

Now imagine a man who was wanted for multiple murder deny to give his identity to an officer. He is arrested, printed, identified, found to be a wanted man, tried and sent to prison. Now this man did have a real and appreciable fear that his name would incriminate him. Will he now be released because his constitutional rights were violated during the arrest?

Seems to me there should be no loopholes in the Constitution that protects the criminal more than the innocent.

posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 03:30 AM
Stating your name doesn't incriminate you. No more than simply existing could because an officer could match your face to a face he saw on a wanted poster. By stating your name you have said nothing bad about yourself. By stating your name you have confessed to no crime.

I just love the way people attach the word "terrorist" to anything they want to push through.

"Crime-fighting and justice groups had argued that a ruling the other way would have protected terrorists and encouraged people to refuse to cooperate with police."

[edit on 6/22/2004 by Indy]

posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 08:57 AM
One aspect that has not been explored is the fact that Hiible was sitting in a truck off of a public highway. It is my opinion that the officer would have been well within the limits of his duties to request that Hiible produce a drivers license. Especially if he suspected that Hiible was intoxicated.

And yes, Phoenix, I agree, the cop handled the situation poorly, but that is not realy the issue here.

posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 10:11 AM
more discussion here :

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