Divided Justices Back Full Arrests on Minor Charges
This is truly troubling in that the Supreme Court has given local police or any other law enforcement agency an open license to jail citizens for even the most petty offence. Any cop in Virginia where we suffer endless roadblocks and seat belt checks will tell they can always find something wrong. (Virginia has state inspections on cars and can fine you at anytime for a tail light or bald tire, exhaust leak, etc.)
The truth is most Virginia and other police never pull that level of petty nonsense, but what if we have someone in a position of authority who wanted someone dealt with for whatever reason? In Sullivan County, Tennessee for example we have racial profiling, and a lot of religious bigotry, what then? Tennessee has just passed a new seat belt law and some politicians hove vowed to turn it into a crusade.
As one who has faced local politicians over my right of free speech and being blocked from the a county courthouse by a local cop on religious grounds, what if they invent some new safety law on carrying a protest sign? Walking on the sidewalk the wrong way? And the list is endless how politicians can crush peaceful (and Constitutional) political dissent or anything else.
Or even something as petty as dancing because some local religious fundamentalists think it's sinful, outlaw it, then jail anyone who dances. What about political correctness? They've already are passing a law in Tennessee fining newspapers for running ads that don't meet their "correctness" criteria. How about a website such as this? They could call it media, impose petty fines and jail anyone connected with it!
Many of our most basic civil rights are under assault from the left and right and this stupid decision has made us all sitting ducks for harassment and censorship. For a recent example in 2008 see Tennessee Deputy threatened to arrest 12-year-old girl for "unlawful photography"
Read the full story at the New York Times.