In my time as a lawyer I have a devoted most of it to being a criminal defense lawyer and a prosecutor. Working as the latter I specialized in search and seizure issues giving me an expertise on the Fourth Amendment continually advising police officers relative to what they could and could not do. I also had great familiarity with the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Here is an edited view of what they say:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, . . against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, . . .
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, . . . and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
These Amendments have other language but for the purpose of this discussion I omit it.
Why I spelled out what I did was to remind you of our protections. These are protections not just for citizens but for the “people”or the “person” who are in this country. These are not to protect us from other people but from the Government. They tell us what the Government cannot do.
Notice in Amendment IV that the people are to be secured in their persons against unreasonable seizures without probable cause. In other words the government cannot just grab you unless there is probable cause to believe you committed a crime. I thought that was pretty elementary.
That was until I heard the Trump appointed head of Trump’s Homeland Security Department Chad Wolf a former lobbyist for Wexler & Walker,] a defunct lobbying firm, and an early architect of the family separation policy say: “we are having to go out and proactively arrest individuals.” I assume that means you seize (or kidnap) a person before you have probable cause to believe the person committed a crime. I listen to all the comments here from the Trumpets about how corrupt the federal prosecutors and courts are but the sound of silence coming from them after Wolf said that is deafening.
Proactive arrest has all the earmarks of Cheka or the KGB, but then again why wouldn’t it since Trump has been in continuing contact with former KGB officer Vladimir Putin. Any one with the simplest grasp of our most fundamental rights should be shocked by this. The attorney general of the United States should have condemned it. He too was silent which shows he too must have been part of the decision.
If a person can be arrested without having committed a crime will the arrest be justified ex post facto with some type of charge? Can they pin any crime they want on the person? Or why not if we are having seizures of people before they commit a crime why not try them – preemptive trials – and then convict them – preemptive sentencing like Alice’s queen would have it “sentence first and then the verdict.”
Isn’t that how Joe Stalin did it? Grabbed people – tortured them – (I notice John Yoo the legal genius who justified torture is back in the picture working with the Trump) – force them to confess to something everyone knew they didn’t do – read out their confessions and then execute them.
Oh, as for those pesky Amendments, AG Barr will point out they are merely advisory but need not be followed.