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Monday, June 19, 2006

Common Sense on the Court?

It seems the is having some common sense attacks lately, and I like it.

Last week they ruled that if the police yell loudly, through a bull horn "Open the Door, Police", but fail to knock they've done enough to announce themselves, and evidence collected could be admitted into court.

Then today the majority, though slim, slapped the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers for their handling of wetlands cases.

In his concurrance wrote that the Corps of Engineers "exercises the discretion of an enlightened despot", and "the Corps has stretched the term 'waters of the United States' beyond parody."

He wrote it because of the Corps propensity to call drainage ditches for roads, areas in 100 year flood plains and man-made ditches "wetlands" and deny usage permits for them. Keep in mind the Corps of Engineers job is to maintain the "navigable waterways of the US", and I've seen some deep ditches, but none I could navigate a boat through.

Unfortunately they couldn't come up with a majority agreement on where the Corps and EPA need to stop, instead sending the most sensitive question of the case back to the 6th Circuit.

And finally, the court ruled it's okay for to continue searching parolees without notice or warrants as a condition of parole. They are the only state that requires those offered parole to accept such searchs or remain in jail.

While the vote was 6-3, Stevens, Souter and Breyer, who claimed "What the court sanctions today is an unprecedented curtailment of liberty," obviously need a reminder of what is.

From Dictionary.com:

The release of a prisoner whose term has not expired on condition of sustained lawful behavior that is subject to regular monitoring by an officer of the law for a set period of time.

While 6 justices understand that people on parole are still, in reality serving their sentence, 3 of them can't seem to fathom that idea. Luckily those three were the minority.

Hopefully after today's ruling more states will pass such laws.


Blogger Gayle said...

I love "good news" posts! Most posts are filled with such doom and gloom, including mine, unfortunately! :(

I think that Stevens, Souter and Breyer know perfectly well what "parole" means... they just don't accept it, and if they had their way they'd change it to mean something else. Just like "liberal" doesn't really mean "liberal" anymore; it means "socialist".

10:29 AM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

Talking about the court, this reminds me of something I read in Godless.

On Judge Rosemary Barkett..."Barkett was described by one of her colleagues on the Florida court as believing murderers were basically good people except for their tendency to sometimes kill people."

LOL...quite a difference from this common sense we're seeing lately!

5:34 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

The Corps of Engineers have been used by the left to further the Federal Government. By constantly redefining, they drive the agenda leftward to strengthen the Federal government. It is similar to the mountain they have made of the "Interstate Commerce" molehill.

8:11 PM  

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