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Justice Sleeps and ‘We the People’ Suffer: No, the U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Save Us

John W. Whitehead
September 27th, 2020
The Rutherford Institute
Comments (8)

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people.”—Justice William O. Douglas

The U.S. Supreme Court will not save us.

It doesn’t matter which party gets to pick the replacement to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The battle that is gearing up right now is yet more distraction and spin to keep us oblivious to the steady encroachment on our rights by the architects of the American Police State.

Americans can no longer rely on the courts to mete out justice.

Although the courts were established to serve as Courts of Justice, what we have been saddled with, instead, are Courts of Order. This is true at all levels of the judiciary, but especially so in the highest court of the land, the U.S. Supreme Court, which is seemingly more concerned with establishing order and protecting government interests than with upholding the rights of the people enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

As a result, the police and other government agents have been generally empowered to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip, and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts.

Rarely do the concerns of the populace prevail.

When presented with an opportunity to loosen the government’s noose that keeps getting cinched tighter and tighter around the necks of the American people, what does our current Supreme Court usually do?

It ducks. Prevaricates. Remains silent. Speaks to the narrowest possible concern.

More often than not, it gives the government and its corporate sponsors the benefit of the doubt, which leaves “we the people” hanging by a thread.

Rarely do the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court— preoccupied with their personal politics, cocooned in a world of privilege, partial to those with power, money, and influence, and narrowly focused on a shrinking docket (the court accepts on average 80 cases out of 8,000 each year)—venture beyond their rarefied comfort zones.

Every so often, the justices toss a bone to those who fear they have abdicated their allegiance to the Constitution. Too often, however, the Supreme Court tends to march in lockstep with the police state.

In recent years, for example, the Court has ruled that police officers can use lethal force in car chases without fear of lawsuits; police officers can stop cars based only on “anonymous” tips; Secret Service agents are not accountable for their actions, as long as they’re done in the name of “security”; citizens only have a right to remain silent if they assert it; police have free reign to use drug-sniffing dogs as “search warrants on leashes,” justifying any and all police searches of vehicles stopped on the roadside; police can forcibly take your DNA, whether or not you’ve been convicted of a crime; police can stop, search, question and profile citizens and non-citizens alike; police can subject Americans to virtual strip searches, no matter the “offense”; police can break into homes without a warrant, even if it’s the wrong home; and it’s a crime to not identify yourself when a policeman asks your name.

The cases the Supreme Court refuses to hear, allowing lower court judgments to stand, are almost as critical as the ones they rule on. Some of these cases have delivered devastating blows to the lives and rights enshrined in the Constitution. By remaining silent, the Court has affirmed that: legally owning a firearm is enough to justify a no-knock raid by police; the military can arrest and detain American citizens; students can be subjected to random lockdowns and mass searches at school; and police officers who don’t know their actions violate the law aren’t guilty of breaking the law.

You think you’ve got rights? Think again.

All of those freedoms we cherish—the ones enshrined in the Constitution, the ones that affirm our right to free speech and assembly, due process, privacy, bodily integrity, the right to not have police seize our property without a warrant, or search and detain us without probable cause—amount to nothing when the government and its agents are allowed to disregard those prohibitions on government overreach at will.

This is the grim reality of life in the American police state.

In fact, our so-called rights have been reduced to technicalities in the face of the government’s ongoing power grabs.

In the police state being erected around us, the police can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip, and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts.

This is what one would call a slow death by a thousand cuts, only it’s the Fourth Amendment being inexorably bled to death by the very institution that is supposed to be protecting it (and us) from government abuse.

Remember, it was a unanimous Supreme Court which determined that police officers may use drug-sniffing dogs to conduct warrantless searches of cars during routine traffic stops. That same Court gave police the green light to taser defenseless motorists, strip search non-violent suspects arrested for minor incidents, and break down people’s front doors without evidence that they have done anything wrong.

Make no mistake about it: this is what constitutes “law and order” in the American police state.

These are the hallmarks of the emerging American police state, where police officers, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, are part of an elite ruling class dependent on keeping the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens.

Whether it’s police officers breaking through people’s front doors and shooting them dead in their homes or strip-searching motorists on the side of the road, in a police state such as ours, these instances of abuse are not condemned by the government. Rather, they are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution.

The system is rigged.

Because the system is rigged and the U.S. Supreme Court—the so-called “people’s court”—has exchanged its appointed role as a gatekeeper of justice for its new role as maintainer of the status quo, the police state will keep winning and “we the people” will keep losing.

By refusing to accept any of the eight or so qualified immunity cases before it this past term that strove to hold police accountable for official misconduct, the Supreme Court delivered a chilling reminder that in the American police state, ‘we the people’ are at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to ‘serve and protect.”

This is how qualified immunity keeps the police state in power.

Lawyers tend to offer a lot of complicated, convoluted explanations for the doctrine of qualified immunity, which was intended to insulate government officials from frivolous lawsuits, but the real purpose of qualified immunity is to rig the system, ensuring that abusive agents of the government almost always win and the victims of government abuse almost always lose.

How else do you explain a doctrine that requires victims of police violence to prove that their abusers knew their behavior was illegal because it had been deemed so in a nearly identical case at some prior time?

It’s a setup for failure.

A review of critical court rulings over the past several decades, including rulings affirming qualified immunity protections for government agents by the U.S. Supreme Court, reveals a startling and steady trend towards pro-police state rulings by an institution concerned more with establishing order, protecting the ruling class, and insulating government agents from charges of wrongdoing than with upholding the rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Indeed, as Reuters reports, qualified immunity “has become a nearly failsafe tool to let police brutality go unpunished and deny victims their constitutional rights.”

Worse, as Reuters concluded, “the Supreme Court has built qualified immunity into an often insurmountable police defense by intervening in cases mostly to favor the police.”

For those in need of a reminder of all the ways in which the Supreme Court has made us sitting ducks at the mercy of the American police state, let me offer the following.

As a result of court rulings in recent years, police can claim qualified immunity for warrantless searches. Police can claim qualified immunity for warrantless arrests based on mere suspicion. Police can claim qualified immunity for using excessive force against protesters. Police can claim qualified immunity for shooting a fleeing suspect in the back. Police can claim qualified immunity for shooting a mentally impaired person. Police officers can use lethal force in car chases without fear of lawsuits. Police can stop, arrest, and search citizens without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.  Police officers can stop cars based on “anonymous” tips or for “suspicious” behavior such as having a reclined car seat or driving too carefully. Police can forcibly take your DNA, whether or not you’ve been convicted of a crime.  Police can use the “fear for my life” rationale as an excuse for shooting unarmed individuals. Police have free reign to use drug-sniffing dogs as “search warrants on leashes.” Not only are police largely protected by qualified immunity, but police dogs are also off the hook for wrongdoing.

Police can subject Americans to strip searches, no matter the “offense.” Police can break into homes without a warrant, even if it’s the wrong home. Police can use knock-and-talk tactics as a means of sidestepping the Fourth Amendment. Police can carry out no-knock raids if they believe announcing themselves would be dangerous. Police can recklessly open fire on anyone that might be “armed.” Police can destroy a home during a SWAT raid, even if the owner gives their consent to enter and search it. Police can suffocate someone, deliberately or inadvertently, in the process of subduing them.

To sum it up, we are dealing with a nationwide epidemic of court-sanctioned police violence carried out with impunity against individuals posing little or no real threat. In this way, the justices of the United States Supreme Court—through their deference to police power, preference for security over freedom, and evisceration of our most basic rights for the sake of order and expediency—have become the architects of the American police state.

So where does that leave us?

For those deluded enough to believe that they’re living the American dream—where the government represents the people, where the people are equal in the eyes of the law, where the courts are arbiters of justice, where the police are keepers of the peace, and where the law is applied equally as a means of protecting the rights of the people—it’s time to wake up.

We no longer have a representative government, a rule of law, or justice.

Liberty has fallen to legalism. Freedom has fallen to fascism.

Justice has become jaded, jaundiced, and just plain unjust.

And for too many, the American dream of freedom and opportunity has turned into a living nightmare.

Given the turbulence of our age, with its police overreach, military training drills on American soil, domestic surveillance, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, wrongful convictions, profit-driven prisons, and corporate corruption, the need for a guardian of the people’s rights has never been greater.

Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, neither the president, nor the legislatures, nor the courts will save us from the police state that holds us in its clutches.

So we can waste our strength over the next few weeks and months raging over the makeup of the Supreme Court or we can stand united against the tyrant in our midst.

After all, the president, the legislatures, and the courts are all on the government’s payroll.

They are the police state.

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Author: John W. Whitehead
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Date: September 27th, 2020
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8 Comments...

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  1. “Although the courts were established to serve as Courts of Justice”

    No, they were established to follow, support, and defend the US Constitution, and it is Article 3 that delegates their lawful duties. Anything else that those who serve within the courts do are the actions of domestic enemies working against the USA and the American people.

    US Constitution, Article 3: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;
    —to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;
    —to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;
    —to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;
    —to Controversies between two or more States;
    —between a State and Citizens of another State;
    —between Citizens of different States,
    —between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

    2: In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

    3: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

  2. Andrea.Iravani. says:

    Intitially, after discovering that the MIlwaukee Police Department was involved in a human trafficking cover-up, after reporting this to higher and higher authorities and then eventually to the CIA in 1986 would have probably been the start of it, as a guess, which I then discovered that it went all the way up to the U.S. Treasury in 2017 after discovering on their website under a link for small businesses, which I clicked on wondering why there was a small business link on the Treasury website, then found a document with Jack Lew’s and Loretta Lynch’s signatures on it for minority women small business owners that did business in foreign countries that permited forced child labor, child labor, and forced adult labor and was seeking contracts for oil, gold, and other natural resources, then I called the White House and was posting it everywhere that I could and on Zero Hedge and Fox News, and nobody reported it, and the White House asked me to e-mail the President with the link, which I did, then it was removed from the website, but the link was still active, so I called and e-mailed the White House again to let them know, then vault 7 technology started being used on me with them hacking everything and using DEWs on me.

    It was right on the Treasury website! If someone placed it there as a leak which was not supposed to be known to the public, I have no way of knowing, but it pretty much seems that way.

    So, I believe that they want to murder me, and if that happens to entail getting me to join them as a way, it seems to be the case, based on my life which the psychopaths that are insinuating that I am crazy would know absolutely nothing about, unless they are illegally spying on me and know that everything that I am saying is 100% true and correct and would like people to believe that I am crazy because it makes them all look like shit for being exposed as the evil scum bags and complete frauds that they are, but there is no denying it now, after 9/11 controlled demolition, the 7 false flag wars that ensued, the loss of liberty, the looting of the treasury, and the high crimes, the covid fraud, the lockdown fraud, the continued looting, and on, and on, and on.

    They have no way out!

    a hacker prevented me from posting this comment on Unz.

    Andrea Iravani

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well we know republicans will never resist and to quote Paul Craig Roberts: “Republicans are not people capable of combat. Republicans believe that to disparage the military/security complex is unpatriotic. Thus, they are sitting ducks”

    So does that mean Antifa and BLM are our only hope for survival as a species?

  4. TEST says:

    The actor Dwayne Johnson endorsed Biden/Harris because of Biden’s “compassion, heart, drive and soul.” Maybe Johnson is talking about someone I am not familiar with. Compassion? Drive? Give Joe an Oscar for his portrayal of, unfortunately, a senile old man suffering from advanced dementia and being used by the Deep State perhaps, but “compassion?”

    “Compassion” is that old ruse to befuddle the sloppy thinking. Are we talking “compassion” as in “Venezuela is compassionate?” Maybe as socialist Zimbabwe was? Cambodia was? No? How about the USSR’s gulags, Mao’s executions, or Vietnam’s re-education camps? Too extreme? Then perhaps just the compassion found in the decades of grinding poverty in Argentina, which 100 years ago was one of the richest countries in the world (thus the Brits coined a term, “rich as an Argentine” which common until the 1930s) then voted Biden leftism in, and became the chronic basket case we have seen for decades (come to think of it, not that dissimilar to current California). Maybe we’ll just see bankrupt Greece “compassion” (which everyone has now forgotten about) where medical care has crashed, the economy has crashed, the drachma died, and more? How about as in Hunter Biden’s compassion, where he took all that illicit dough and gave it to the poor… or not. Compassion as in, when we moved to the US from Canada, you could get an MRI in a few days in the US, but in Canada it took a freaking YEAR (unless there was utter, massive emergency) compassion? As is forcibly extracting money from people at the point of an IRS “gun,” rather than because a person is made in the image of God compassion? As in I could do a thousand times more, with a million times more love, or 1/10th of 1% of the money, than the govt ever even THINK of doing compassion? Compassion, as in what Detroit has experienced – and which has not had a Republican mayor since 1960 – and thus not allowed folks, particularly blacks made in the image of God, to have a life safe from crime, have a job, etc? Is Dwayne talking about compassion as in the folks living in tents on the sidewalks in leftist meccas of SF, LA, etc? Compassion as in the ruined cities – and lives – of DECADES of blue run cities like Chicago, SF, Baltimore, Detroit, Camden, NJ? As in what de Blasio is doing to NY, Wheeler to Portland, or whatshername in Seattle… or perhaps as the Minneapolis city council now charging burned down businesses – that the MPLS council refused to protect from arsonists – to fully tear down the charred remains of their own businesses? Or as in MPLS council hiring armed guards for THEIR protection, but leaving the poor to their own now non-police protected lives? Compassion as in ex-leftist Dr. Arthur Brooks’ (Harvard Univ.) whole book, Who Really Cares.where, if I recall correctly, he exposes hundreds of facts, such as conservatives give blood SIX TIMES more frequently than the left? (His whole book should be required reading; it caused him to become an ex-leftist). Compassionate as in all the highly overpaid government workers in Canada’s capitol, Ottawa, leaving my computer classes I was teaching, at 3:30 (and they aren’t starting at 7 or 7:30 AM, either) to go home (that is, IF they weren’t on vacation, retired at age 54, etc.),

    Just what faceless compassion is Mr Johnson talking about, I would like to know. And I would also like to know how much he, and his fellow Learjet leftists give from Hollywood in “compassion,” whereas most Christians I know are giving 10% of their income with ZERO to spare.

    Leftists are “compassionate” in the same way Antifa/BLM Marxists – who should be marching to their arson/police shooting/molotov cocktail throwing riots, under the hypocritical leftist “Hate has no home here” yard signs – are “compassionate.”

  5. SlackMavo says:

    The architects of the police state and founding fathers are one and the same.

  6. cranerigger says:

    In the article’s second paragraph we see “It doesn’t matter which (political) party ….”. I disagree. Blumenthal (D) is known for stolen VALOR. Cuomo (D) is known for killing-off old folks. Biden (D) is known for selling influence and money-laundering through family members. Sanders (D) is known for Marxist views. Reid (D) is known for removing the filibuster. Feinstein (D) is known for religious intolerance. Either Clinton (D) is known for selling influence to foreign lands (Clinton Foundation). Kerry (D) is known for blaming the USA, then procuring personal gain through the govt. Wheeler (D) is known for allowing chaos in Portland. Lightfoot (D) is known for deaths in Chicago. De Blasio (D) is known for ruining New York City. We could go on and on – the other party is not as bad.

  7. Between Three Centuries says:

    The grid goes down, the lights go out. At some point in the future the lights come back on and all the cops, judges, prosecutors and other assholes are gone forever.

  8. Bill says:

    This article is correct. To summarize, here are a few undeniable reasons why; the police / surveillance states are growing unabated, there are a vast number of “qualified immunity” protections for the police at every level of gov’t, high quality legal protection is all but prohibitively expensive for non-wealthy people, money will always buy connections and influence, and there is a built-in two-tier system of justice in this country. None of these facts are contestable, everyone knows it.
    The average American isn’t wealthy or powerful and doesn’t have influence or connections. But we do have one invincible weapon if properly wielded, our numbers. But presently, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change much. 1- Many Americans have been successfully propagandized and inculcated to accept their shackles, they kiss their chains. 2- The deep State/PTB and their proxies keeps introducing socially divisive issues to keep society divided (divide and conquer). 3- Most Americans are too fat, lazy, stupid, and/or dependent on the gov’t to do anything about it so long as they are eating and being entertained (bread and circuses).
    I don’t play the game, I opted out everywhere I can. I legally minimize the taxes I pay, my money and my time are for me and mine. I don’t ask permission for anything. I take every opportunity to use the truth to embarrass and bad mouth officials and to point out their hypocrisies. (both elected and appointed). I exercise my rights earnestly. I don’t cooperate with officialdom, I have no loyalty to gov’t. I influence others to do the same. I don’t do polls, surveys, questionnaires, or knowingly offer any information or data to any entity (public or private). It is not a task, its actually very satisfying to empower yourself.

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