I never got around to blogging it, but the Indiana Supreme Court recently ruled–as far as I know, not on a dare–that Indiana residents have no right to resist police unlawfully entering their homes. Read that again, slowly. If police come to your door, knock, and then say, “Come out now, Ferguson! We know you’re in there, and the house is surrounded!” then, even if you’re name is Hernandez, and you have never in your life met anyone named Ferguson, you have no right to prevent the police from coming in anyway.
Here’s the court’s own summation of their ruling. The bolding is mine: “In sum, we hold that [in] Indiana the right to reasonably resist an unlawful police entry into a home is no longer recognized under Indiana law.”
So the Indiana Supreme Court just ruled that unlawful activity is lawful, and that even “reasonably resisting” that unlawful activity is unlawful. So asking for a search warrant, which I would consider reasonably resisting, is unlawful. It would appear that the Indiana Supreme Court has never heard of the Fourth Amendment. To wit, “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.” Bolding is once again mine.
The Constitution of the United States says that its citizens are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. I assume that any kind of unlawful searches and seizures would fall under that “unreasonable” aegis. But the Indiana Supreme Court says that doesn’t hold in their state. I wonder where they got the concept of ignoring laws they don’t agree with. Like, say, the War Powers Act. Or not enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act.
However, at least in Indiana, it appears as if cooler heads may prevail.
[Attorney General Greg Zoeller] released a statement saying he will support a rehearing of the case due to concerns that the court ruled too broadly when it found citizens have no right under common law to reasonably resist police who unlawfully enter their homes.
“In our brief and argument to the Indiana Supreme Court last fall, my office did not advocate for the type of ruling the court issued last week. I believe a reconsideration is appropriate. A rehearing and a new ruling would afford the Supreme Court the opportunity to clarify any misperceptions regarding people’s Fourth Amendment right to be secure in their homes against unreasonable searches and seizures – even against unlawful entry by police,” said Zoeller, a Republican.
“While there is no right to commit battery against police, I believe the individual has the right to shut the door, stand his ground and communicate with police without engaging in an altercation. In balancing the perils of domestic violence with respect for law enforcement, I will continue to advise our police clients to respect people’s Fourth Amendment rights.”