Saturday, January 23, 2016

Another hole in the Fourth Amendment

During the course of The Legal Watchdog’s short-lived but glorious podcast, we discussed the court of appeals case State v. Dumstrey where the court held — despite a scathing dissent — that we don’t have a privacy interest in our locked, underground, enclosed parking garage of our condo or apartment.  The case was obviously so wrongly decided — every single one of the factors in the multifactor balancing test pointed toward the existence of a privacy interest — that the state supremes announced they would be taking the case for review.  At the beginning of this podcast we gave our predictions.  Although “the skeptic in me” was cautious, I said that I was “going out on a limb for our supreme court.” I predicted that “even this supreme court, with these justices, will reverse it.”  So what happened?  

Well, the limb onto which I crawled snapped cleanly underneath me.  It was business as usual at our pro-government supreme court.  The court’s decision in State v. Dumstrey II affirmed the appellate court: no expectation of privacy in your locked, underground, enclosed parking garage of your condo or apartment!  Of course, there were two dissenters, as Bradley was joined by Abrahamson (the justice who was recently stripped of her chief-justice status by some of her fellow justices).  The dissent employed things like logic, reason, and the Constitution (scroll down to paragraph 72) to expose the majority opinion as the political, pro-government piece of work that it is.  It's just too bad that not enough people care enough to do anything about this.    

And much credit to my podcast co-host Matt, as he wasn’t as hopeful foolish as I was: he predicted the supremes would cut another hole in the already illusory Fourth Amendment.  As Matt said in our original episode — titled Your home is your castle (unless you rent) — the court loves the rhetoric of freedom, but not the business of actually ensuring it.

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