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Both before and after the enactment of section 213 of the USA PATRIOT Act, immediate notice that a search warrant has been executed has been standard procedure. As has always been the ease, delayed-notice warrants are used infrequently and judiciously only in appropriate situations where immediate notice likely would harm individuals or compromise investigations, and even then only with a judge's express approval. As demonstrated by the examples above, however, the ability to delay notice that a search or seizure has taken place is invaluable when those rare situations arise. The investigators and prosecutors on tile front lines of fighting crime and terrorism should not be forced to choose between preventing immediate harm -- such as a terrorist attack or an influx of illegal drugs -- and completing a sensitive investigation that might shut down the entire terror cell or drug trafficking operation. Thanks to the long-standing availability of delayed-notice warrants in these circumstances, they do not have to make that choice.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A little-known federal law that allows investigators to carry out a search warrant without the suspect's knowledge contributed to the smashing of a major heroin ring in the area last week. The tool was put in place as part of anti-terrorism laws passed by Congress after the 9/11 attacks on American soil. The implement was rarely employed in its first years, but records show investigators nationally are increasingly pulling it from their belts.
In this case, investigators used the warrant to go through a suspected drug dealer's apartment in Cleveland last April. They took more than a pound of heroin and two guns, then trashed the place to make it look like a burglary.
Some in the legal profession are jittery that the law can be abused and question whether federal judges should allow these warrants for offenses other than suspected terrorism. The delayed-notice search warrant is designed to keep suspects from knowing they are under surveillance.
The special warrants, like the one used in April, are most commonly utilized in drug cases, and only rarely against suspected terrorists. Their use has soared, from 87 granted nationwide by federal judges in 2006 to 1,145 last year. The warrants, also called "sneak and peeks," are used sparingly in Northern Ohio -- only 10 times between 2006 and 2009. Federal judges nationwide have rejected requests for the special warrants only eight times between 2006 and 2009.
Some citizen might decide they were house breakers and confront them with a shotgun. What then?
U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment
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.
History and Scope of the Amendment
History .--Few provisions of the Bill of Rights grew so directly out of the experience of the colonials as the Fourth Amendment, embodying as it did the protection against the utilization of the ''writs of assistance.'' But while the insistence on freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures as a fundamental right gained expression in the Colonies late and as a result of experience, 1 there was also a rich English experience to draw on. ''Every man's house is his castle'' was a maxim much celebrated in England, as was demonstrated in Semayne's Case, decided in 1603. 2 A civil case of execution of process, Semayne's Case nonetheless recognized the right of the homeowner to defend his house against unlawful entry even by the King's agents, but at the same time recognized the authority of the appropriate officers to break and enter upon notice in order to arrest or to execute the King's process. Most famous of the English cases was Entick v. Carrington, 3 one of a series of civil actions against state officers who, pursuant to general warrants, had raided many homes and other places in search of materials connected with John Wilkes' polemical pamphlets attacking not only governmental policies but the King himself. 4
Entick, an associate of Wilkes, sued because agents had forcibly broken into his house, broken into locked desks and boxes, and seized many printed charts, pamphlets and the like. In an opinion sweeping in terms, the court declared the warrant and the behavior it authorized subversive ''of all the comforts of society,'' and the issuance of a warrant for the seizure of all of a person's papers rather than only those alleged to be criminal in nature ''contrary to the genius of the law of England.'' 5 Besides its general character, said the court, the warrant was bad because it was not issued on a showing of probable cause and no record was required to be made of what had been seized. Entick v. Carrington, the Supreme Court has said, is a ''great judgment,'' ''one of the landmarks of English liberty,'' ''one of the permanent monuments of the British Constitution,'' and a guide to an understanding of what the Framers meant in writing the Fourth Amendment.... 6
During Roosevelt’s first term, the Supreme Court struck down key parts of his New Deal legislation,... In each of these cases, the Court relied on various precedents – most stemming from the “liberty of contract” doctrine set forth in LOCHNER v. NEW YORK (198 U.S. 45 1905) – to argue that state and national governments had exceeded their authority to regulate commerce....
...Roosevelt then plotted with his staff and his allies in Congress to do something about the Nine Old Men. Shesol meticulously recounts the genesis and development of each of the proposed schemes to curb judicial power. Most surprising, perhaps, were the efforts at constructing a constitutional amendment aimed at restricting judicial review of Congress – an act that would essentially eviscerate the powers of the judiciary. By February 1937, Roosevelt had decided on a plan: he would ask for legislation that sought to expand the Court by one member for every justice over the age of 70, for a total of six new justices. Roosevelt argued that the Court was overworked, and fresh blood would help to clear the docket of pending cases. Of course, no one really believed him – not Roosevelt’s allies, not his opponents, and not the general public. In fact, Roosevelt himself never consistently stuck to his own argument; within weeks of his announcement, Roosevelt was advocating for the court packing plan on purely ideological grounds....
And yet in the end, Roosevelt got what he wanted: the Hughes Court began to rule in his favor after he turned up the heat. By the end of the Court’s 1937 term, judicial interpretation of the interstate commerce clause had been completely transformed.
This is why we must eliminate the "Patriot" Act.
Originally posted by anon72
reply to post by Amaterasu
This is why we must eliminate the "Patriot" Act.
i wouldn't have agreed with you before this story. Now I do. I think it was quick and desprate legistation (needed at the time-perhaps) but now we need to look this thing over from front to back.