Tag Archives: Amendment

Supreme Court rules an officer’s misunderstanding of a law is protected

A Supreme Court ruling on Monday found police officers who pull over a car for a traffic stop can search and seize the vehicle, even if the officer does not have a full understanding of the law used to pull the vehicle over.

The ruling comes after Nicholas Heien, a North Carolina resident, was pulled over in 2009 on the premise of a single broken taillight.  After being pulled over, the officer searched the vehicle and found a baggie of cocaine, and the officer then arrested Heien.

However, North Carolina law only requires one working taillight, so when the officer pulled over Heien, it would appear he had no legal right to do so.

The case was brought up to a North Carolina appeals court who, according to VOX, agreed the stop was unlawful.  The case was then heard by the state’s highest court and the Supreme Court, who both ruled in favor of the officer, saying even if the officer does not know the technical aspects of a law, a search and seizure is still constitutional.

“This Court held  that reasonable mistakes of law, like those of fact, could justify a certificate of probable cause,” reads the Court’s ruling.  The vehicle search, therefore, does not violate the Fourth Amendment, as was argued by Heien, which protects citizens from unlawful searches and seizures without probable cause.  The Court said, “a search or seizure may be permissible even though the justification for the action includes a reasonable factual mistake.”

Ultimately, the Court found the Fourth Amendment requires officers to act reasonably, but not perfectly, since officers are human and make mistakes as well.  Chief Justice John Roberts said, according to the AP, an officer’s mistake of fact can rightly justify a traffic stop and therefore that misunderstanding can also satisfy the Constitution.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only member of the Court to disagree with the decision, saying an officer’s mistake or misunderstanding of a law, “no matter how reasonable, cannot support the individualized suspicion necessary to justify a seizure under the Fourth Amendment.”

VIDEO: Sen. Mike Lee condemns Democrats for trying to alter the First Amendment

WASHINGTON D.C., September 10, 2014 – On Tuesday, Senator Mike Lee (R- Utah) gave an impassioned speech before Congress detailing the threat S.J. Res 19, a new proposed constitutional amendment, poses to the  First Amendment.

If passed, the proposed amendment would grant Congress and states the power to regulate the raising and spending of money with respect to federal and state elections. Lee blasted the Democrats attempt to limit free speech and said our political system “keeps us free only to the extent that individuals rich and poor alike are able to say what they want and join together to form voluntary associations for the purpose of influencing the outcome of elections.” You can watch the full video here:


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DEA continues obstructing marijuana research, report says

A new report released by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, says the DEA has spent the last four decades thwarting marijuana research which carries the potential of reclassification for the drug.

“The DEA has argued for decades that there is insufficient evidence to support rescheduling marijuana,” reads the executive summary of the report.  “At the same time, it has… acted in a manner intended to systematically impede scientific research.”

Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning the federal government does not recognize any acceptable uses for the drug, including medicinal uses.  The status of Schedule I also means the drugs in this category cannot receive federal funding for research, medicinal or otherwise.  Marijuana is joined on the Schedule I tier by peyote, LSD, and heroine.

“This concerns me greatly as someone who has studied marijuana and given thousands of doses of the drug,” says Professor Carl Hart of the department of psychology and psychiatry from Columbia University.

Professor Hart continues saying, “The notion that the DEA has not thought about reconsidering scheduling of marijuana seems to be against scientific evidence and what we’re trying to do as a society that relies on imperial evidence to make decisions.”

The report also states the DEA has been forced by several court orders to release a decision on the reclassification of marijuana.  Two of these times, multiple lawsuits were brought forth against the DEA to act instead of simply sitting on their hands for years.

This report is released a few weeks after the House of Representatives approved of three amendments focused on restricting the DEA’s grasp on marijuana and hemp laws.  Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California was one sponsor of the amendments.

“Nobody should be afraid of the truth,” says Rohrabacher.  “Is the downside of marijuana a harmful side effect? Or is there a positive side that actually does help? That needs to be proven.”

A few studies have already shown marijuana has many potential medical uses, including slowing or stopping the spread and growth of cancerous cells, including leukemia.

Dr. Wai Liu from St. George’s University of London told the Huffington Post, “Cannabinoids have a complex action; it hits a number of important processes that cancers need to survive.”

The growing support for the legalization of marijuana has seen 22 states and the District of Columbia legalize medicinal use of marijuana, and Colorado and Washington have legalized the recreational use of the drug.

Democrats Kill Amendment To Protect Americans’ Free Speech From IRS Scrutiny

ted-cruz-has-just-wrapped-up-his-epic-21-hour-defund-obamacare-talk-a-thonWASHINGTON, D.C., February  27, 2014 — U.S. Senator Cruz (R-Texas), today offered two amendments in the Judiciary Committee to safeguard citizens’ free speech against unlawful and unjust targeting and designations by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“Nearly nine months ago, President Obama declared the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative groups ‘intolerable and inexcusable,’ yet his administration has authored a new rule to specifically limit free speech for many of those groups, which are classified as ‘social welfare’ organizations,” Cruz stated.

“Free speech is not a partisan issue. The IRS has no business meddling with the First Amendment rights of Americans. Rather than further stifling free speech, the IRS and the Department of Justice should provide the American people with all the facts surrounding the IRS’s targeting of certain organizations based on their political activity. We should all agree the IRS should not be used as a tool for partisan warfare.”

Sen. Cruz’s first amendment would have prohibited an IRS employee from intentionally targeting individuals or groups based on political views. It would have made it a crime for an IRS employee to willfully discriminate against groups based solely on the political beliefs or policy statements held, expressed, or published by that organization.

The second amendment would have amended the tax code to use the bipartisan, independent FEC’s definitions to determine whether an organization is engaging in political activity. The IRS should focus on taxation, rather than determining what is political activity.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee unanimously opposed the amendments, defeating them both.

Below is a letter Cruz sent directly to Attorney General Holder. Cruz has not yet received a response. In fact, since Obama pledged to correct the issues the administration has stonewalled all investigations. The FBI has reported that no plans exist to file criminal charges.

Letter from Sen. Ted Cruz to Eric Holder on the IRS’s Targeting of Conservative Groups

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Sen. Tim Scott Flip Flops on Rand Paul’s Amendment

Apparently Sen. Tim Scott voted for the Rand amendment before he voted against it.

Last Thursday, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) spoke to a large crowd at a Tea Party meeting in Greenville, S.C.

Sen. Tim Scott assured the audience that he would stand with Sen. Rand Paul regarding foreign aid to Egypt, but just a few days later he ended up voting against the amendment standing with Sen. Lindsey Graham and the Democrats.

TheGreenvillePost.com’s Joshua Cook asked both Sen. Scott and Congressman Duncan why the U.S. continues to give $50 billion taxpayer in foreign aid to counties who hate us.

Sen. Scott said,

“There was an opportunity in the Senate to make a decision on our foreign aid to Egypt. A classic example, the Rand Paul amendment back about two months ago to not provide more resources to a country in the form of F16s and tanks, I voted not to give that money because we ought to question what we get in return for our investments, but we ought to analyze how to make America safer by our foreign investments, and Egypt is the classic example. As we move forward if we find ourselves in the position where Egypt’s military action becomes defined as a coup, we will be in a stronger position to cut off that aid because we certainly cannot fund coups. So until we get to that point, myself, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and others take a strong stand on questioning what do we get on the return on investment for the money that we are giving out in this world.”

Artie Brito, a local Liberty activist asked Sen. Scott,

“Does the Constitution allow the federal government to give money to other countries? Where is that found in the Constitution?”

 “You cannot find it is the answer to your question,” said Sen. Scott. “The enumerated powers are pretty clear about us giving money out—period.”

According to Townhall.com, Rand Paul stated that the 86 senators who opposed his amendment to freeze $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt voted “against the rule of law” on Wednesday. Paul’s amendment to the transportation spending bill would have halted aid to the country until elections were held and redirected the money to domestic bridge repairs instead.

Rand Paul

So why did Sen. Scott vote against Sen. Rand Paul’s Amendment?

Chris Lawton, founder of the Greenville Tea Party, wonders what changed his mind. He told theGreenvillePost.com,

“I would really like to know what changed so dramatically in Sen. Tim Scott’s answer to the Greenville Tea Party on July 25 to his vote against Senator Rand Paul’s amendment on S 1243 on July 31 that would have caused this apparent reversal.”

Sen. Tim Scott is a favorite among Conservatives in South Carolina, and they are disappointed to see him clearly flip flop on this issue. They demand answers.

We called Sen. Scott’s DC office this morning and have not received a response as of this publication.