The last time I checked, this was still the United States of America. And in America, the Bill of Rights is supposed to protect us against government tyranny and overreach.
The Second Amendment says that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” and the Fourth Amendment prohibits the
police or any government agent from seizing and searching your person or property without just cause or a warrant.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals just essentially negated both of those protections!
In a unanimous decision, the Seventh Circuit Court ruled that law enforcement officers are not required to present a warrant or charges before they forcibly enter a person’s home, search it, and begin confiscating residents’ firearms as long as they believe it is in their best interests.
Stop what you’re doing and read that last sentence again… The Seventh Court has ruled that police can violate your 2nd and 4th Amendment rights by breaking into your house and stealing your firearms as long as they believe it is in your “best interest.”
The Nazis made this argument as they loaded Jews into rail cars. The Soviets made the same “best interest” argument when they shipped their political opponents to camps in Siberia. Every despotic and tyrannical regime that trampled on its citizens’ rights claimed that it was in their best interest. And now a US Circuit Court has decided the same.
My “best interest” is for government to get the hell out of my life!
The case in question is Krysta Sutterfield vs. City of Milwaukee
. According to court documents, Ms. Sutterfield was receiving attending therapy sessions to get over a traumatic incident in her life. During one of her visits to the therapist, she made the tongue-in-cheek comment that she was going to go home and “blow her brains out.” After she left the office, her therapist called police.
Two hours later, the police arrive at Ms. Sutterfield’s home. They knock on the door and ask to come inside, which she adamantly refuses to allow. After repeatedly asking the officers to go away and refusing to unlock the door, the police forced their way into the house. Ms. Sutterfield was tackled to the ground and handcuffed while the police searched her home. They found a pistol and a BB gun, which were both seized for “safe keeping.”
We are able to know so much about what went on in the house because Ms. Sutterfield actually called 911 to try to get the belligerent officers to leave her property. The entire exchange is captured on audio recording, and it couldn’t possibly be any clearer that the police violated her 2nd and 4th Amendment rights!
Without ever having seen or met Ms. Sutterfield, the police officers drafted a Statement of Emergency Detention by Law Enforcement Officer, giving them the authority to detain her and seize her property. Milwaukee Law allows for police to make these judgement calls and take individual citizens into custody until a mental health professional deems them to be competent. But they must have a real reason to suspect the individual is in danger.
Ms. Sutterfield filed a lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee for clear constitutional violations, and even though the Court agreed that the violations were profound, it ruled on behalf of the City. Judge Llana Rovner, writing for the court, decided that the search and seizure was acceptable because there was “no suggestion that (police) acted for any reason other than to protect Sutterfield from harm.”
Is that the benchmark necessary for constitutional violations to be acceptable? Government thugs just need to be acting in your “best interest” and then all constitutional rights go out the window? Believe it or not, the court ruling actually gets worse.
“Even if the officers did exceed constitutional boundaries,” the judge writes, “they are protected by qualified immunity.”
Well that’s just wonderful! So it doesn’t matter if a police officer violates your rights as long as he has your “best interests at heart,” but even if he or she is found to have violated your rights, they are protected by qualified immunity.
With this single court ruling, the Seventh Circuit has given police and government officials Carte Blanche to do whatever they want! More than 25 Million people live under the Seventh Circuit’s jurisdiction, meaning with the stroke of a pen, these judges just essentially nullified constitutional rights for 13% of all Americans!
These ruling have a tendency to spread. Neighboring courts will look to the Seventh Circuit for guidance when they are confronted with similar rulings. The only way to ensure that this decision is not made the law of the land is for Congress to intervene and protect our Constitutional rights from these activist judges!
If you like your constitutional rights and believe that police officers shouldn’t be allowed to break into your home, detain you, and seize your property just because they believe it is in your “best interest,” then I IMPLORE you to let your voice be heard and demand that Congress put an end to this nonsense!
Tell Your Friends!
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