Thursday, May 21, 2009

Heil Haynes!

Tennessee State Senator Joe Haynes has run a bill that would allow police to fingerprint a motorist-any motorist-who gets pulled over in a routine traffic stop. What is frightening is that the House of Representatives has approved this bill:

"I've had several people come up to me and express concern about this bill," Haynes said during Wednesday's Senate session. "It's not like Big Brother is looking down your throat like you think he is. Right now, police can take a fingerprint from someone stopped for a traffic violation. This bill just says that fingerprint can be electronic instead of a regular ink print."

But police admit, under current law, they can only ask a motorist for a fingerprint during a traffic stop but the motorist can refuse without any legal consequences.

"But they cannot refuse to give a signature," said Metro police Capt. Mike Hagar, who oversees the department's identification division. "What we are asking for is to eliminate the signature for the option of using the fingerprint as the affirmation instead.''

This is a dramatic expansion of police powers that would suddenly place on file the fingerprints of hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans every year who have done no wrong other than go five miles over the speed limit or park in the wrong space. Mind you, the Democratic Party, the party of Joe Haynes, is the same political party which threw a fit about the expanded police powers of the Bush Administration, yet they want to do something that smacks of Soviet or Nazi police state mentalities such as mandating fingerprinting for a traffic stop?


Seig Heil!

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At Friday, May 22, 2009 11:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


let the blame fall where it may on this one, but the only reason that people think that this is remotely acceptable is because politicians, mostly Republicans, have been stripping away constitutional privacy protections since the Reagan era. As the Supreme Court has grown more conservative (ugh!), you've seen a rapid erosion of all civil liberties - and most of them are rooted in the 1st Amendment, 4th Amendment, 6th Amendment and 8th Amendment. While stripping away these rights for the accused, the rights of all have been eroded.

Let's go back to a favorite of conservatives everywhere - Roe v. Wade. The logic behind Roe is that there are certain expectations of privacy that are inherent in the Constitution, the so called "penumbra" of rights that are understood to be held by all people.

You see, there's nothing in the Constitution that expressly forbids the police from getting your fingerprint as a result of a traffic stop, but it is a gross invasion of privacy. It's just a result of 40 years of conservatives telling us that our rights are subservient to the ability of the police to chase criminals.

At Friday, May 22, 2009 4:54:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

As usual, your constitutional bullshit falls not far from stupidity.

At Saturday, May 23, 2009 12:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How? It's easy to say "bullshit" - but explain how.

At Saturday, May 23, 2009 12:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW Dave, I haven't heard your explaination of how your support of the Catholic Church is not tantamount to supporting ass-raping little boys.

At Saturday, May 23, 2009 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Would you please explain Anon's 'stu[idity'. It makes a lot of sense and fits what liberal's have screaming about for at least the last eight years. All that happans and NOW you're going to complain about a measely fingerprint???
David, I hate to say this, but your priorities are, ever so slightly, skewed; to the point of being silly.

At Sunday, May 24, 2009 8:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me how I'm wrong Dave. I really want your opinion on this one. You see, if liberals and conservatives can come together on civil liberties, I think we can halt this erosion of individual liberties.

On the other hand, if you are just going to take the position that whatever liberals do is bad and whatever conservatives do is good, we'll never get anywhere.

In the meantime, tell me where I'm wrong on my privacy argument. Roe v. Wade is rooted in the argument that the individual citizen in this country has a right to privacy that is so understood that it doesn't even need to be stated in the Constitution. This was even Glenn Reynold's view before he became such a right-wing whore (yes, I had him for Con Law I in law school and I can't believe what what marring such a nut did to him). You see, you either have to believe in the right to privacy, or you just have to ignore it. I don't care where you come down in this argument, I just ask that you be consistent.

Finally, when you call "bullshit" explain why you disagree. In my past posts, I tell you with specificity why I disagree with you - extend the courtesy and tell me why my 25 years of legal experience are wrong in this instance.

At Sunday, May 24, 2009 8:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops! I meant to type "marrying" instead or "marring". The Mrs. Ole Professor has obviously fucked with his mind as he used to be a very principled libertarian. Right now, I wouldn't believe a word he said - he's become such a whore to the right wing nutjobs that he's unrecognizable to those of us who had him early in his teaching career.

BTW - does anyone else find it amusing that a person who makes his living off of the tax dollars of the rest of us, finds such great joy in telling us how much "private enterprise" is better than government, all the while drawing that government paycheck?

At Sunday, May 24, 2009 10:05:00 PM, Blogger Rob Huddleston said...

Dave -

I'll get in on this discussion. Where does this end? If a fingerprint is not an unconstitutional seizure, then what is to say that a blood draw or DNA sample isn't either?

As an aside - since the appellate courts think that red-light and speed cameras are OK by the Constitution, then why don't we lay off all of the cops that only serve the purpose of traffic enforcement?



At Monday, May 25, 2009 1:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, but it goes back to the core argument: Do you believe there is a "right to privacy" in the US Constitution? Personally, I do - I agree with Justice Blackmun that you can't read the Constitution without a basic understanding that you have the right to left alone by the government unless the government has a damn good reason to get into your business.

Oats, when you call bullshit, tell us the basis for it - or you are just like every other unprincipled conservative I've ever known - you don't want the government in your business, but you have no problem with them being in the bedrooms and doctor's offices of those with whom you have a moral opposition.

Just to be clear, I don't believe the government should get into people's sex lives, their reproductive decisions, or their personal habits that don't affect other people. I don't believe the government should wiretap anyone without a warrant issued upon probable cause. I don't believe there should be red-light cameras that observe our private driving habits. Frankly, I don't want to live in a police state. Will this always result in more crime? Probably, but I can deal with a person attempting to break into my house. On the other hand, if the police feel like they can taser me for any reason, I'll be charged with a crime if I fight back. See, that's what a lot of conservatives don't seem to understand - the Constitution is a restriction on what the government can do to it's citizens. In their rush to create an authoritarian state, they shuck the principles laid out in the Constitution in order to feel "safe". Personally, I'll only feel safe when all of the neo-conservatives are in jail where they belong and can't again harm this wonderful country.


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