Mt. Vernon Register-News


April 25, 2013

Court saves our privacy, media sleeps


At stake here and in other government evasions of a judicial warrant in search cases is a prosecutor claiming a per se rule, which defines as “a generalized rule applied (by prosecutors) without consideration for specific circumstances.”

In other words, what this comes down to, as Whitehead makes clear, is the Supreme Court “rejected arguments by state officials asking it to establish a per se rule that all cases of drunk driving present ‘exigent circumstances’ allowing police to extract blood from a suspect without a warrant.”

In the amicus brief to the court, Whitehead, citing past Supreme Court rulings, writes: “Consequently, ‘there remains (if it were to continue) the nagging feeling that the removal of blood from within the body of the accused by means of force in routine drunk driving cases shocks the conscience.’”

Because so few members of the media have reported on Missouri v. McNeely, it’s doubtful that many American consciences have been shocked to realize how often a driver’s blood is forcibly taken from him or her without consent and without any intervention by a judge-issued warrant.

We don’t know how often this invasion of privacy may still occur, despite the court’s ruling in Missouri v. McNeely.

Were I an assignment editor for one of the media outlets, I would ask reporters to check over a period of time how often police and prosecutors apply Missouri v. McNeely as decided by the Supreme Court to drunk-driving cases. I’d also check on how many judges actually know of this decision.

I first heard of the Supreme Court’s revival of the Fourth Amendment in this case from one of John W. Whitehead’s alerts, and, accordingly, I strongly suggest that any of you who would like to be in continual touch with this nonpareil news analysis pay heed to this invitation:

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