Friday, June 16, 2006

Civil liberties watch

"The majority's 'substantial social costs' argument is an argument against the Fourth Amendment's exclusionary principle itself. And it is an argument that this Court, until now, has consistently rejected."

-- Justice Stephen Breyer in his dissent on a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling. In the majority opinion, Justice Scalia suggested that a person's Bill of Rights protection in the Constitution against illegal searches had to be weighed (by him, of course) against the "social costs" of letting a criminal go free.