As of today, if cops enter your home without being invited, and without a warrant, there’s nothing you can do. You have to let them in. At least in Indiana you do. Not India — Indiana. I thought Indiana was part of the United States of America. I also thought U.S. residents were protected from such unchecked police powers by the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Not so, says the state’s Supreme Court.
Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes. In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer’s entry.
“We believe … a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,” David said. “We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest.”
David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.
I have to believe, if only for my sanity, that higher courts will make absolute mincemeat of this foul decision.
Or it could go the other way, of course, and we’ll eventually have jurisprudence saying that we must make any badged trespassers a nice cup of cocoa and a turkey sandwich.
Rogier is a Dutch-born, New-England-dwelling multi-media maven (OK, a writer and photographer) whose dead-tree publishing credits include the New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Reason.