Tuesday, March 26, 2013

There He Goes Again ...

Once again, Justice Scalia is using his supposed "originalism" method of interpretation to achieve his preferred political ends. Today's example is Florida v. Jardines. The question in the case was whether a police dog sniffing at your door for evidence of narcotics constitutes a "search" under the Fourth Amendment. Writing for a five-justice majority, Justice Scalia held that it is indeed a search, and thus subject to the restrictions of the Fourth Amendment. The result in this specific case is that all evidence obtained pursuant to a subsequent search warrant will be suppressed, a conviction will be impossible, and a dope fiend will be loosed upon the streets. Just how Justice Scalia likes it.

I kid, of course. In fact, this is another in a long line of cases under the Fourth Amendment where Justice Scalia has arrived at conventionally "liberal" results. Perhaps Scalia is using these Fourth Amendment cases as cover for other cases, as part of long con that allows him to credibly use originalism as a crutch to support nakedly partisan results in First Amendment (corporate speech, establishment clause, etc), Second Amendment, federalism and other cases.

But I'd urge the cynics inclined to believe such claptrap to search within, instead, and consider how to counter the Justice Scalia who actually exists rather than the monster you've created in your heads.

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