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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Courthouse

4th-dist-app-ct-ill-2011-08-13.jpg

Fourth District Appellate Court of Illinois, Monroe Street, Springfield, Illinois.

Not necessarily apropos of that, but of our times, these hauntingly true words:

Moreover, "in the application of a constitution, our contemplation cannot be only of what has been but of what may be." The progress of science in furnishing the Government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wire-tapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the Government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. Advances in the psychic and related sciences may bring means of exploring unexpressed beliefs, thoughts and emotions. "That places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer" was said by James Otis of much lesser intrusions than these.[1] To Lord Camden, a far slighter intrusions seemed "subversive of all the comforts of society."[2] Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?

Also:

The protection guaranteed by the Amendments is much broader in scope. The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the Government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And the use, as evidence in a criminal proceeding, of facts ascertained by such intrusion must be deemed a violation of the Fifth.

Mr. Justice Louis Brandeis dissenting at Olmstead v. United States (1928). Via a comment on Curiously bad policy by Dan. Thanks, Dan.

Posted by Marie at August 21, 2011 7:56 PM

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