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Fourth Amendment be damned: Private property rights apparently mean nothing anymore

Call me nuts, but why on Earth would anyone be foolish enough to believe in this day and age, when up is down and down is somewhere off in left field, that private property is, well, private?

I mean, come on – let’s get real, people. Everyone knows that your driveway, even thought it’s on your private property, is not considered private property, for Pete’s sake.

Oh, wait… what’s that you say? Private property is private property is private property? Not so fast there, peons. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, your driveway is not private even though it is privately owned.

Meet your new Bill of Rights.

Apparently, according to these glazed-over shells of what at one time passed for those who upheld the law, aka U.S. Circuit Court judges for the Ninth Circuit, if your driveway is not protected by a fence or a gate, it does not qualify as private property.

So what does this mean exactly? Does this mean that those of us who cannot afford to construct an eight-foot privacy fence bordering the entire circumference of our property are now not afforded the same rights as those who can? Signs hailing “Private Property” and “No Trespassing” be damned!

Hold up there, Nelly! Rein in the ponies, I’m getting ahead of myself here. I have a tendency to do that at times, so here’s a little back story to set the mood.

This tale of abysmal disregard for our constitutionally afforded rights contained within the 4th Amendment began back in 2007, when the DEA began monitoring an Oregon man they suspected was running a marijuana operation.

Apparently, DEA agents “snuck” onto Juan Pineda-Moreno’s private property and planted a GPS tracking device under his Jeep. Naturally, Pineda-Morena challenged this on the basis that the agents had trespassed on private property with no warrant of any kind in order to plant the device.

A panel of three Ninth Circuit Court judges ruled in January that this was perfectly legal, using the absurd, and aforementioned, reasoning that one apparently doesn’t have any reasonable expectation to privacy in their driveway. Yes, that’s right. No reasonable expectation of privacy on your own private property. Their logic, if it can be called such, was that since Pineda-Moreno’s driveway was open to strangers such as delivery people and neighborhood children who might wander across it uninvited, it really wasn’t “private.”

Way to pick and choose who the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution actually applies to, judicial posers.

I guess that means if the neighbor kids can get into your yard, it’s also fair game for federal agents with no warrant as well. Now who wouldn’t see the logic in that?

What may be even more disturbing is that a larger panel of judges on the Ninth Circuit was asked to reconsider the ruling, and this month decided to allow it to stand. The inmates are truly running the asylum. Rome is burning and the idiots are looking for marshmallows and sticks.
Now before anyone goes and gets their drawers all up in a twist and accuses me of defending a man who has pled guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, as well as manufacturing marijuana, this is not about defending Pineda-Morena’s actions – but rather defending his rights granted by our United States Constitution, specifically the 4th Amendment in this particular case. And in case anyone has forgotten, the 4th Amendment is contained within a little ol’ thing we like to refer to as the Bill of Rights.

There was a time when the idea of “no unlawful search” (or GPS tracking) actually held some water. Apparently, in this day and age, “no unlawful search” (or GPS tracking) only applies to you if you have fencing and excessive security measures in place to ensure that privacy, and to deter federal agents from trespassing illegally and planting tracking devices to monitor you. Because, apparently, in this day and age, the law of the land means nothing any longer. Because, apparently, citizens, in this day and age, you’re fair game to warrantless privacy invasions if you can’t afford electric high tensile fencing and monitored security booths at your gated drive.

Take a nice deep whiff, America: Is that a little hint of class bias that I detect on the breeze?

Orwell may have had his date off by a few years, but he pretty much pegged the storyline. Goodbye 1776, hello 1984.

Oh, really, who am I kidding? 1776 has been dying a slow, agonizing death for at least the last 100 years. The question is: How much more of this are we going to take, people? “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” ~ Patrick Henry

It’s almost like they had a crystal ball, eh?
No, not really.
They had history on their side and understood that history repeats itself. We’d do well to pay attention to it ourselves, lest we become victims of the same historical tendency for government to grow into a bloated, festering behemoth feasting upon the labors of a once-free people and wielding a double-edged sword of tyranny.
Oh, wait, my bad. I think we’ve already arrived.