No or UNKNOWN RISK
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WARRANTS ISSUE WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE
The Government has no power to issue a warrant without “probable cause.” This is supposed to be a stronger standard of evidence than a “reasonable suspicion,” but weaker than “beyond reasonable doubt.” Legal scholars use terms like reasonable, prudent, cautious, trustworthy, and “more likely than not”. The judiciary seems to give law enforcement more latitude when allegations sound more serious, and less when less serious.
The arbitrary searching of “private” property has been commonplace for most of humanity. Probable cause was once rooted in English common law. Like other natural rights of the American colonists, British bullies regularly molested this standard of evidence. In time, our judiciary has been coerced into lowering the revolutionary standard. By 2006, California decided that imprisoning its massive convict population was unaffordable. The next bright idea was to parole many. To do this, reasonable suspicion, let alone probable cause, was tossed away. Searching probationers is now as easy as rifling through a dissident’s bunk in a Soviet gulag.
As the police and courts become accustom to an ever-lowering standard of evidence, the urge to treat citizens as parolees-in-waiting surges. Under the 2001 USA Patriot Act, hundreds of constitutional officers in Congress somehow forgot the need to show probable cause to access communications records, credit cards, bank account numbers and stored emails held by third parties. Our pathetic judiciary has acquiesced. What could go wrong? Welcome to the prison planet.
Our Founding Generation