It’s been a bad year for individual freedom and the 4th Amendment in Indiana this year. The Indiana supreme court ruled that individuals don’t have the right to resist an unlawful police entry into their home. Of course, the court was wrong. We always have had and always will have that right. What the court actually ruled is that the government will no longer protect that right. Since the one of the few legitimate functions of government is to protect our rights, it kind of makes me wonder why we keep it around at all if it can’t even do that.
As if the court’s decision alone wasn’t bad enough, it also has the side effect of contributing to another government injustice. As local governments and police departments everywhere face increasing budget shortages, many have been subsidizing those budgets through asset forfeiture, the practice of seizing a persons property before they have been convicted of committing a crime, and then keeping that property whether that person is convicted or not.
Indiana’s own Radley Balko recently relayed this story about the billions of dollars that are now taken through asset forfeiture programs, with some of the most infamous cases taking place in Indiana. Legally, the police can now enter your house without a warrant, grab the butter and egg money out of the cookie jar, and the burden of proof will be on you prove why they shouldn’t have entered your home in the first place, and why they shouldn’t be able to keep your money.
Luckily, (or unluckily), I don’t have enough butter and egg money to make an unlawful entry into my home very profitable for anyone. And I still hold out some hope that there are enough police officers out there who respect the Constitution and individual rights enough that the court’s decision won’t be as detrimental to freedom as it might be.
But however things turn out, I still maintain that no one is coming into my home without a warrant or an invitation.
At least not without some resistance.