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Unclear on the concept...


I've posted (or at least thought about posting; I can't be bothered to actually find the post) about a welcome mat with the words "Come back with a warrant" on it.  As someone who values my own rights and privacy, that would be my natural and instinctive response to a police officer making inquiries about a search of my home -- because consenting to a search when you are under suspicion is never a good idea.

But Patterico, who actually works as a prosecutor in California in addition to blogging, thinks such a welcome mat would constitute probable cause for a warrant in and of itself.

That's why I'm a Libertarian, not a Republican.  Asserting one's constitutional rights should never be grounds for suspicion.  If the government didn't have probable cause for a search before being denied permission, the fact that it was denied doesn't give any additional evidentiary weight in favor of a warrant. 

To disregard this is to render Constitutional rights meaningless.  If any refusal can be considered evidence for a compulsory search, then there is no right to refuse a search.

This entry was published 2006-08-23 05:21:39.0 by matthew@triggerfinger.org and last updated 2006-08-23 05:21:39.0. [Tweet]

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