Supreme Court Considers No-Warrant Searches : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

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November 1, 1999

Court Considers No-Warrant Searches

Filed at 11:08 a.m. EST By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court today agreed to decide whether police without a warrant can stop and search someone for a gun based on an anonymous tip accurately describing the person's location and clothing.

The justices said they will hear Florida prosecutors' argument that such a tip provides enough ``reasonable suspicion'' to justify a warrantless search.

The case involves a juvenile identified in court papers as ``J.L.'' who was stopped and frisked by a Miami police officer in 1995. Police had received an anonymous tip that three young blacks were standing in front of a pawn shop, and that the one in the plaid shirt was carrying a concealed firearm.

Officers frisked all three youths and saw the butt of a gun in the pants pocket of the one wearing the plaid shirt. He was arrested and charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm by a minor.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the gun could not be used as evidence against the youth, saying the officers' actions violated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.

``There is no firearm or weapons exception to the Fourth Amendment, and the bare-bones anonymous tip ... did not provide the police with sufficient cause to stop and frisk,'' the state Supreme Court said. The tip did not describe suspicious behavior and the police did not see any such behavior before they performed the search, the state court added.

In the appeal granted review today, prosecutors said anonymous tips about concealed firearms create a ``unique situation,'' adding that a search should be justified once police confirm innocent details, such as someone's clothing.

Otherwise, police would have to wait until they saw someone brandish or use a gun, prosecutors said.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1968 that police can stop and frisk someone without a warrant if they reasonably believe the person had committed a crime or was about to commit a crime.

The youth's lawyer said verifying innocent details such as someone's clothing is not enough to ``justify a reasonable belief that the suspect is engaged in criminality and is armed and dangerous.''

-- silver ion (, November 01, 1999


Sorry if the truth sounds so blatently trollish, but again, where is the little OT tag? Seems to me that nothing too strange or conspiratorial is too far out to post here to what is (?!?!) a Y2K forum. I think this pice would better be served over at

Just making observations.

-- gold proton (just@making.observations), November 01, 1999.

Forgot it, actually. Just like you forgot that 'piece' has the letter 'e' in it. Think human frailty...think y2k.

-- silver ion (, November 01, 1999.

Okay, point taken. But does everyone "forget" to put it in, or is it just the general consensus that this is the place to post anything that might be scary, y2k or not?

-- ( observation), November 01, 1999.

btw-- You think maybe reports of a Supreme Court hearing belong on 'Sightings'? Pity. Where'd you get your education?

-- silver ion (, November 01, 1999.

Fear not all, here's the link:

Hi Silver!

-- Deb M. (, November 01, 1999.

Our Constitution seems clear on the subject:

4th Amendment to the US Constitution:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, 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."

-- snooze button (, November 01, 1999.

Thanks Deb. I forgot to post the link to boot. More human frailty.

-- silver ion (, November 01, 1999.

The FBI has targeted those who "hoard food and weapons" as, or with, "threats" who are "preparing for violent acts." Many of us, who are here to use the forum for it's intended purpose, contingency planning for Y2k, have bought large amounts of food, and weapons for self-defense.

This post is about whether to do away with the 4th Amendment, quoted above. Therefore, it is not "off-topic." The shrill, insulting posts objecting to it are off-topic.

I am puzzled as to why these trolls have begun to post in the last few days, all of a sudden. They seem to feel very comfortable jumping in on any post that challenges State authority, to slap it down with an insult, or drown out the information with noise. Then, when we object, they cry "censorship!" and accuse us further of lack of balance and objectivity. This is like mobbing a forum on stamp collecting and insisting they talk about numismatics, or barging into a forum on medical insurance coverage and demanding equal time for discussion of faith healing. These people are punks, they are an outrage, and they are probably being paid to disrupt. Don't let them fool you into thinking they are worth your respect or your time.


-- Liberty (, November 01, 1999.


i agree with you that what is happening as far as unreasonable or illegal police searches is detestable. but ... your post certainly falls into more of a civil liberty areana than y2k.

so many unrelated or marginally related y2k posts are being made without OT that everyone should try to stick to the topic - or OT it.

-- lou (, November 01, 1999.

Make that legal and everyone is furnished with a perfect way to harass anyone they don't like. Just describe their appearance and tell the officer where they are located. No need to give your name. You could do it every day. What a wussy idea.

How odd that the Court would even consider this.

-- Tom Carey (, November 01, 1999.

Anonymous tips are pushing it too far. They could too easily be used for harassment. Besides, most police know enough to find a reason to search...if they really need to do so.

-- Mad Monk (, November 02, 1999.

Liberty for President!

Some of you (trolls? pollys? hooligans?) are pretty dense. Don't you have any perspective? Don't you know, can't you understand that all encroachments on freedom and abrogations of rights occur during "emergencies" (such as Y2K!!!) and that Clinton will be looking for any opportunity to usurp more power unto himself which means less for you and me???? Once the states takes something, it is returned only by blood or revolution.

Isn't it a Masonic maxim that states: "Order out of Chaos"?


-- S. David Bays (, November 02, 1999.

I find the phrase "three young blacks" offensive.

They'd never dare print, "three young whites" or "three young jews", but "three young blacks" is OK?

It's that sort of mentality that fosters an environment where "warrantless searches" are even *considered*. Dehumanize the object of the search, and it makes it easier to intellectualize the violation of the BOR.

-- Ron Schwarz (, November 02, 1999.

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