Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quaint, irrelevant, and silly

Late on a Saturday evening, when fewer observers would be around (and we know that's not a good sign), the Minnesota Senate approved a state marriage protection amendment. Both houses of the legislature are controlled by the GOP, though the Senate vote wasn't quite along party lines. The bill has already passed the House and will go before voters in 2012. One commenter noted the GOP priorities: 5 months on discrimination, 2 days on the budget.

A couple days ago I wrote about various corporations on the board of TNCC which is pushing to roll back gay rights. It didn't take Alcoa long to contact the governor of Tennessee and ask him not to sign the bill. FedEx, AT&T, and Nissan have also responded to the news. Alas, their official comments ring hollow. There are several other corporations keeping silent.

This one is disappointing. Consider the case where police smell marijuana (still illegal in many states and at the federal level). They knock on the door and hear sounds they interpret as the residents scurrying around to hide evidence. What to do?

The Supremes ruled the police do not have to get a search warrant. They may enter the residence, search wherever they want and seize whatever they find. We expected Alito to have a hand in this ruling. What is most disappointing is that only one justice disagreed. With that the Fourth Amendment has been declared quaint, irrelevant, and silly. That's another way of saying dead.

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