Notably, the Bill of Rights uses the phrase "the people" in four other Amendments (the First, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth). I have never before heard a claim that all convicted felons are categorically denied the individual rights protected by all these Amendments. The Fourth Amendment, notably, speaks of the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." The Supreme Court has never suggested that individuals, once convicted of a felony, thereafter cannot assert Fourth Amendment rights.Despite Berman's clear logic, I wouldn't be surprised if SCOTUS buys this absurd argument. After all, they've already declared that a search isn't a search if police are only looking for illegal things.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Aren't Martha Stewart and other Felons "People"?
Doc Berman made this great catch over at Sentencing Law & Policy: In an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court, the Bush administration takes the position that convicted felons are not "people" as defined in the Constitution for purposes of determining whether they retain a 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, Berman responds: