The United States Constitution needs revision. There is much about the Constitution that needs to be added and changed, but for now let us consider only one basic right that isn’t being adequately protected in the Constitution.
The US Constitution was written two centuries ago. There are technologies in use today that were not even dreamed of by the men who bent their impressive intellects to writing the perfect framework for a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The electronic age has created an enormous range of possibilities for governmental, and non governmental, entities who want to know everything there is to know about you. There are people who want to know what your political beliefs are, what you purchase at the supermarket, how often you contribute to your favorite causes, and what those causes are.
In today’s world, privacy is an endangered species. There isn’t much that the police and other governmental agencies don’t know about you, or can’t find out with very little trouble. All they have to do is ask one of their pet Judges to sign off on a warrant. The protection afforded your privacy by the US Constitution is minimal to nonexistent.
Reasonable cause is set so ridiculously low that it is easy for any governmental agency to claim that they should have access to your private information. Not one in a hundred requests for a search warrant is turned down by either Federal or by State Judges. With a search warrant your every record, anywhere, is an open book.
If for some reason you come up on the radar of a governmental agency, your whole life story is open to complete strangers. And you may never know. They don’t have to tell you about anything, and they practically never do. You have no recourse against the police, the FBI, the Justice Department, or even the local animal control office. All they have to do is show that “due process” was followed.
Due process was a once upon a time protection from unfair exercise of governmental power against a citizen, but that was before the computer was invented. Due process does not protect you from governmental snooping, invasion of privacy, or tracking. They get their “permission” without you having any say, and they are protected by sovereign immunity laws that give them immunity from prosecution if they “just made a mistake.”
Sovereign immunity is the doctrine that the government or employees of the government cannot commit a legal wrong and are immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution. All the cards are in the government’s hands. You don’t stand a chance in hell of getting fair treatment or redress if your privacy is unjustly invaded. That needs to change.
At the very least, the US Constitution needs to be amended to include strong protection against governmental intrusion into your private life and your private information. Every Judge who grants a search warrant needs to be held directly and personally responsible for maintaining your right to privacy. The doctrine of sovereign immunity needs to be abolished.
Any Judge who grants a warrant on weak or nonexistent cause should be punished by being relieved of pay or position. Any police or other law enforcement officer who seeks a warrant without convincing evidence needs to suffer serious consequences. It has to be serious and personal, or it isn’t a real deterrent to abuse of power.
Every person who is the subject of a search warrant needs to be advised of the fact in a timely manner. They need to be given the affidavit that was used to procure said warrant and any evidence used to convince the Judge. Every person should be allowed to confront the Judge and law enforcement officer and challenge their reasoning and decision making process. There needs to be a system that is solely designed to judge the Judge and Law Enforcement, able to exercise disciplinary measures to discourage rampant disregard for civil liberties and the right of the citizenry to privacy.
Without the right to live your life free from the oversight and intrusion of the government into your personal life, you can’t call yourself “free.”