Tuesday, 22 June 2004

Backlash against Supreme Court's Hiibel decision

In response to yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court of the USA in Hiibel v. Nevada , the Washington Post editorializes today that, “Targets of law enforcement have a right not to [cooperate]. Carving out exceptions, even seemingly innocent ones, is a bad idea.” Closer to Hiibel’s home, Nevada’s largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review Journal says the Supreme Court’s decison “continues the progressive demolition of the once proud right of Americans to stand silent when braced by government agents.”

Not content to criticize the decision as a fait accompli , the Review Journal calls for action:

[B]y recognizing and now extending this made-up doctrine of “important government interests,” the court has gutted the very soul of the Bill of Rights — the underlying premise that protecting and defending the liberties of Americans is the highest law of the land, and the sole purpose which justifies the federal government’s very existence….

Mr. Hiibel was jailed for no more than stubbornness and silence. If police can demand our ID by the side of a public road, what about in our backyards … or in our bedrooms?

The court now says residents of the 21 states with such laws no longer have a right to remain silent or a right to privacy; they must speak up even if it incriminates them.

Therefore, the remedy now lies with the Legislature: Nevada must repeal the police-state law — NRS 171.123 — which allows police to detain someone who refuses to identify himself.

Link | Posted by Edward on Tuesday, 22 June 2004, 12:30 (12:30 PM)
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