Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Was the Fourth Amendment Repealed?

In Opinion on May 31, 2013 at 11:39 am

holderLet me see if I have this right.  First, Eric Holder is caught with his hand in the cookie jar (while chewing a few cookies already) having authorized illegal confiscation of at least one journalist’s phone records, a clear threat to the freedom of the press and a violation of the First Amendment (not to mention the Fourth, about which more later).  Then he convenes a priviate meeting with a select group of really, really important members of the press (The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, Politico and the New Yorker) to discuss rules and guidelines concerning his future trips into the kitchens of this special class of citizens called journalists and reporters.

In the paper of one of the lucky few attendees, The Wall Street Journal, (Full Article HERE) we read:

Mr. Holder and aides said they were open to changing the guidelines the department uses to broaden the circle of officials who have to agree that subpoenas are justified as a last resort. The officials also said they were open to annual reviews with news organizations . . . The department’s guidelines haven’t been revised in more than two decades, and the officials said they needed to be updated to deal with significant changes in news gathering that have occurred in that time.  Mr. Holder asked news executives to speak with him in the wake of two controversial leak investigations of the Associated Press and Fox News in which reporters’ phone records were seized.

So, for our Department of Justice, for this White House, it goes like this:

  • break the law,
  • deny having broken the law,
  • convene a meeting to confess the breach,
  • cop a plea with the victims,
  • cite the need to ‘update’ the government’s interpretation of the US Constitution,
  • change the rules concerning who is empowered to ignore the US Constitution,
  • triple promise to abide by new rules, and
  • voila, all’s good and well.

In other words, some media moguls will negotiate with the Department of Justice guidelines meant to protect a certain class of people, journalists and reporters, from unreasonable searches and seizures because their jobs as journalists and reporters is really extra special (see First Amendment).

That’s fine, sort of.  But what about YOUR Fourth Amendment rights?  Has Eric Holder called you into his office to reassure you that the government remembers that part of the Constitution?  He has yet to call me.

Oh, but no need to worry.  If the government raids your home, opens your bank records, reviews your internet footprint, or taps into your FaceBook and email accounts, at least the press will be allowed to write about it.


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.


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