I ran across this story in the NYTimes “Todays Headlines” email that I’m subscribed to and of course I wanted to read the rest of it.  Unfortunately, because this is a “Times Select” piece, there is no getting to it on NYTimes’ site without paying for this “Times Select” thingy… Which I’m not interested in doing.  So be warned, unless you’re interested in paying the NY Times, this link is worthless to you.

(Not only that, but because this link is essentially worthless and because I’m just that aggravated, NYTimes links that I post on here will, for the forseeable future, have rel=”nofollow” on them… they’re getting no link juice from me.)

Full Constitutional Protection for Some

Poor people in San Diego who want public benefits must give up their privacy, writes
Adam Liptak.

On the other hand, after I spent some time googling around, I did find a blog that quoted the story so you can read it here in “If You’re Poor You Have No Rights, Not Even To Privacy

The part that *should* get under everybody’s skin is this:

In San Diego, poor people who want public benefits must give up their privacy. Investigators from the district attorney’s office there make unannounced visits to the homes of people applying for welfare, poking around in garbage cans, medicine chests and laundry baskets.

Applicants are not required to let the investigators in. But they get no money if they refuse.

Lawyers who have sued on behalf of the applicants say that being poor should not mean having to give up the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable government searches. So far, the courts have disagreed, saying that rooting out welfare fraud justifies the searches, but not without drawing some fierce dissents.

Basically it’s the same old story that’s getting played out more and more these days… If you don’t have money then you are guaranteed to get the short end of the stick.  I know, boatloads of people will trot out the “Preventing welfare fraud” excuse, but that just doesn’t cut it here.  Preventing fraud is one thing, this kind of unreasonable “give me what I want or you don’t get anything” approach is unwarranted… as are the searches that these goons are performing.

Whatever happend to the Forth Amendment?  Where are the court orders and search warrants?  Where is the probable cause?

In case some have forgotten, the constitution DOES guarantee us protection against unreasonable search and siesure.  It also requires probable cause be shown and a warrant issued by a judge that specifies what is being searched and what is being searched for.  These judges that have gone along with this are just plain flat out wrong.

It is perhaps poetic justice of a sort that this post is sponsored by www.k9cuisine.com, a supplier of Organic dog food.  They’ve got a whole line of natural dog foods and treats that are free of artificial ingredients and preservatives.

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