On March 18, 2010 agents from the Border Patrol violated the Fourth Amendment and harassed your humble blogger along the side of a public highway well inside the country, and then directed their harassment to my place of employment. After a great deal of time and money, a district court and a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals joined the agents and also refused to do their publicly funded jobs diligently.
On March 18, 2016 - next week, six years to the day later - eight justices of the Supreme Court of the United States will decide whether or not to hear my civil suit appealed to them. A cert petition before our nation's highest court only has a one to three percent chance of being heard and the judiciary, ie the federal government, has conditioned me over the years on what to expect when federal government is challenged for breaking the law. With liberty and justice for some...
Still, we fight not because we think we will win, but because we swore to do so. We swore we would support and defend the Constitution against all enemies with true faith and allegiance and without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. Not everybody understands that, even many in uniform. For many, duty is a foreign concept as is America herself. Oh well. Onward.
Those interested in reading the complete cert petition that is currently before the Supreme Court, to include amicus brief support and responses, can do so by visiting the SCOTUSblog.
Those interested in the media coverage of this suit over the years, the video of the thirty-four minute suspicionless detention at the heart of this legal battle, and the legal rulings at the district and appeals court levels, can find that information here.
"The principal protection of Fourth Amendment rights at checkpoints lies in appropriate limitations on the scope of the stop. See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S.; United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S... And our holding today is limited to the type of stops described in this opinion. "[A]ny further detention . . . must be based on consent or probable cause." United States v. Brignoni-Ponce."
- Martinez-Fuerte, Supreme Court of the United States, 1976
"We have already noted that the permissible duration of the stop is limited to the time reasonably necessary to complete a brief investigation of the matter within the scope of the stop. The scope of an immigration stop is limited to...determining the citizenship status of persons passing through the checkpoint."
"In United States v. Machuca-Barerra, we addressed those limitations in detail and noted that 'The scope of an immigration stop is limited to...determining the citizenship status of persons passing through the checkpoint...' It bears repeating that the permissible duration of an immigration stop is the time reasonably necessary to determine the citizenship status of the persons stopped."
- Portillo-Aquirre, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2002
"We have not discovered nor been shown any authority supporting Rynearson’s claim that the constitutional rights he chose to stand on [the right to be detained only as long as is reasonably necessary to briefly investigate citizenship status] were clearly established."