Entries Tagged '4th Amendment' ↓

Mask Mandates are NOT a 1st Amendment issue, they are a 4th Amendment issue

I often scratch my head by how little our state legislature and governor know about the US Constitution;

Governments in South Dakota, across the country and the world used mask mandates and business restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some lawmakers, though, say those mitigation efforts don’t jive with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. And now a bill making its way through the legislature would narrow the scope of when cities, counties and townships can make people wear masks or force businesses to close in the name of public health.

It is NOT a 1st Amendment issue, it has to do with trespassing and property rights which is covered under the 4th 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.

The 5th and 14th could also apply. But I have often said that mask mandates in general are moot because the US Constitution already protects business owners from trespassers. If you have a sign on the front door of your business that says you must wear a mask and you refuse, that business can call the police and you can be prosecuted for trespassing. Those laws already exist.

I would argue that any municipal government can implement a mask mandate as long as that mandate is about private business and private property and within their 4th Amendment rights (in other words private businesses and even churches could ignore the mandate).

The 1st Amendment argument holds no water because as we saw with Trump’s Twitter ban, private business CAN limit your speech on their premises, platforms or property.

Where I would side on the 1st Amendment argument is that it would be unconstitutional for government to mandate mask wearing on their (your taxpayer funded) property.

Once again the statehouse is filling their short session with foolishness.

Do Lincoln County officials have a legal right to inspect properties?

I’m not sure, I am writing this post to spur discussion.

The 4 Amendment states;

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.

I guess the way I look at it is if a property owner gives permission to inspect their property by government officials it is okay, but without that permission, I’m not sure how they have the right to inspect (except from the public right-of-way or aerial view).

I think by allowing this in Lincoln County we are going down a very slippery slope of government intrusion of our private property.

Why is the city paying for something the state should cover?

I got a surprise yesterday while attending the City Council working session. As some of you may or may not know, while the state shares revenue with alcohol sales, they don’t reimburse the city police department for conducting alcohol sale stings. I think a solution would be the city PD to stop doing the stings and require the Highway Patrol (which gets state funding) to do the stings.

Kenny Anderson says the problem is that people who fail the stings are not the owners or managers in most cases, it’s the clerks. While this is true, it is also the responsibility of the company to properly train their employees AND hire responsible people.

I have often said the solution is simple. Require anyone who is purchasing alcohol or tobacco to put their ID in a scanner. If they don’t or if the ID is incorrect, the cash register would refuse the sale. Of course, this would piss off a lot of older people who clearly look old enough to purchase. This would also probably get blow back from the malt beverage industry. I know a few years ago I read a study that said over 30% of beer that is consumed in this country is drunk by underage people. That’s a lot of lost revenue if roadblocks are put for these people to purchase.

Texting Ban – Still pointless & Unneeded

When the city decided to pass a texting ban, I agreed with councilor Staggers and some members of the Highway Patrol and SFPD, that it was unneeded because there are already laws in place like distracted driving and reckless driving that cover texting and driving. If you cause an accident while texting or talking on your phone, or  eating a hamburger or scratching your butt while driving, you will get one of these tickets. Don’t get me wrong, I think texting while driving is idiotic, but since the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday about getting a warrant to search someone’s phone, it is going to be a lot harder to prove someone was texting and driving. That pesky US Constitution and 4th Amendment prevailed once again. Just wondering when our state legislature and city council are going to bother reading it and stop passing pointless laws and ordinances?

Strangle Hold

I wonder if ‘1984’ is required reading for SF school district students?

It seems administrators have read the classic many times, and are using it for a policy handbook;

The local teachers union opposes a proposed policy that would allow Sioux Falls School District administrators to search employees’ private cell phones, purses and vehicles for suspected violations of district policy.

A school law expert from Ohio said the policy “certainly breaks new ground” and could open the district up to a lawsuit.

COULD?! This is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

But if challenged in court, a judge considering whether the search was appropriate would balance the employee’s Fourth Amendment rights against those of the district.

And don’t forget about the 1st and 5th amendments. I can’t believe the district is even considering this policy, oh, that’s right, administrators and board members allow lawyers to make all their decisions for them, very ignorant lawyers.

After 28 years of unconstitutional searches, Supreme Court FINALLY upholds the 4th Amendment


I have long been against the way officers search people’s cars, and finally the SC ruled that it was an (obvious) violation of 4th Amendment rights.

Before the ruling, officers were able to search anywhere and anything within the passenger compartment of a vehicle after they arrested someone, Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said. Now, officers must get consent for a search or have “reasonable belief” there is evidence of a crime within the vehicle to allow them to search the passenger compartment, he said.

I have long beleived that your vehicle is no different then your house. An officer must have a warrant or permission to search your home, unless there is “reasonable belief”. For example he smells pot smoke, sees a dead body laying on your living room floor, etc. etc. I think it is bogus that this rule has been in affect for 28 years. It seems now days when an officer pulls you over for a traffic violation, they already assume you are a drug trafficker. Guilty until proven innocent is not how the 4th Amendment works.

“Originally, the rule was for an officer’s safety and trying to control the situation, but only later did they realize the use of traffic stops could enable police to investigate just to see if there was any criminal activity, with the focus often being on drugs,” she said.

It really does come down to the pointless and very expensive war on drugs which has clogged our courts and prisons with addicts not criminals. Our police should be focusing on real criminals like the ones that wear white collars in our banks across the country.

Robert Doody, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota said it best on the new ruling;

“It was an expansion of the ability to search beyond what the Fourth Amendment would allow for,” he said. “Now you see the Supreme Court putting the brakes on it.”

I hope this is a new direction for our SC when it comes to constitution.

Drug Dogs @ local music club?

UPDATE: Last night I was at Nutty’s North and asked about the drug dogs, rumor has it (yup more rumors – sorry) that the SFPD retrieved a phone from a hippie kid who died and found all kinds of messages and texts about drug trafficking at hippie concerts, so the cops have been sitting out on the sidewalk by the club during those kind of shows busting people. Mind you, they have legal authority to do that, because it is public property, but I would think they would have better things to do then bust young people for a couple of joints. The prudent, and intelligent thing to do is to investigate who is the ‘Kingpin’ in the operation instead swatting the flys. But hey, I’m no detective, so what do I know.

I heard a rumor yesterday that police brought drug dogs in Nutty’s North during a concert. Not sure if it is true, just wondering if anyone out their can verify?

This is disenhearting for several reasons. First off it is a clear violation of 4th Amendment rights, which of course is unconstitutional. The police either need a warrant or the establishment owner calling 911 and telling them they suspect drugs on the premise and want an investigation. Drug dogs can only legally search public property otherwise. I heard the search was random.

It is also disappointing beacuse all we ever hear about 24/7 from our city leaders is how we need a fricking Event Center to bring in top entertainment. Well guess what, Nutty’s brings in TOP ENTERTAINMENT, and then you turn drug dogs loose on them?

Until Sioux Falls pulls the conservative corncob out of our asses we will NEVER compete in entertainment with anyone in the region.

Blanchard; Close, but no cigar

Once again Mr. Blanchard is justifying the behavior of our country’s worst president, because he ‘kept us safe’.

After the World Trade Center fell, Bush decided that stopping the next attack was not a matter of law enforcement, but a matter of war. It was imperative to find out what the terrorists were planning, and make them stop. I think he was right to do so. His most vociferous critics accused him of trampling of civil liberties, but I wonder how much those liberties would have been worth to most Americans if 9/11 had been followed by a series of terrible attacks. Americans have not yet been scared. The World Trade Center was in New York. We don’t want to see what happens when we get really scared. If you want to protect civil liberties, and I certainly do, you have to stop the really big scare from happening.

First off, I will address the 4th Amendment, and Bush’s ass-wiping session with it. I think most Americans don’t have a problem with the surveillance of ‘possible’ terrorists, I sure don’t. Afterall, it is his job to protect us. I think all we are asking is that he follows the 4th amendment and allow some oversight. Obviously national security prevents private citizens from knowing everything, but Shrub could have have asked people in the Judicial or Legislative branch for a little insight in what he was doing. It’s called building trust. He could have done that without violating the Fourth and risking national security. This is where people get suspicious – like when the NIA is building secret rooms in private phone company buildings . . .

As for keeping us safe, I beg to differ. He was warned about 9/11 and did nothing. He knew WMD’s were not in Iraq and sent over 4,000 American troops to their deaths anyway. If that is your idea of ‘keeping us safe’  I have some ocean front property I would like to sell you in Tea, SD.