Government Cannot Be Trusted To Police Itself, by Chuck Baldwin.
So many of the words and warnings delivered by America’s Founding
Fathers are appropriate for today. Consider this sage counsel from
America’s first and greatest President, George Washington:
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like
fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” I was
reminded of these words when I read the following report out of the
State of Indiana.
“Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of
1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled on May 12, 2011
that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their
“In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said
if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason
at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer’s
Justice Robert Rucker and Justice Brent Dickson dissented from the
ruling, saying the court’s decision violates the Fourth Amendment of
the US Constitution.
“In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by
essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now
enter their homes illegally-that is, without the necessity of a
warrant, consent or exigent circumstances,” Rucker said.
The NW Indiana Times also reported, “This is the second major
Indiana Supreme Court ruling this week involving police entry into a
“On Tuesday, the court said police serving a warrant may enter a
home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it.
Prior to that ruling, police serving a warrant would have to obtain a
judge’s permission to enter without knocking.”
See the report at:
Shortly after the ISC decision, Newton County Sheriff Donald Hartman,
Sr. said he believes the ruling makes house-to-house searches
possible. According to a report at Infowars.com, Sheriff Hartman
“made it clear that he would use random house to house searches if
he believed it was necessary.”
The Infowars.com report also correctly notes that it was years of
illegal searches and seizures and seizures of the American colonists
(along with the attempt to seize the colonists’ firearms) that led
our forebears to resist the British government with force on April 19,
1775, at Lexington Green and Concord Bridge which ignited America’s
War for Independence.
See the report at:
It may be helpful at this point to rehearse the Fourth Amendment to
the US Constitution. “The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but
upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or
things to be seized.”
With this ruling, the ISC effectively told the citizens of the State
of Indiana that the Fourth Amendment is null and void in their State.
And Sheriff Donald Hartman has effectively said that he will treat the
citizens of Newton County in much the same way that King George
treated America’s colonists--or the way Stalin’s or Mao’s police
treated the enslaved subjects of the former Soviet Union and Communist
And what is also disturbing is the way government, at every level,
seems unwilling to police itself.
The reason the US Constitution limited the jurisdiction and authority
of the federal government and left states with their own jurisdiction
and (broader) authority was to serve as a check and balance against
the tyrannical tendencies of the central government. Today, however,
acts of tyranny seem to be taking place as frequently on the State and
local levels as it is at the federal level. This story out of the
Hoosier State is only the latest example.
Does anyone find it more than interesting (and even paradoxical) that
while the US military is being used more and more as international
policemen, local and State law enforcement personnel are often being
used more and more like military troops (and taking on the appearance,
procedures, and tactics of military troops)?
Traditionally, it was never the role of local and State law
enforcement personnel to act like soldiers. Police officers have no
“enemy” to seek out and destroy. Their job is to protect, not
punish. The citizens of their State, county, or city are not the
I recently had a well-meaning police lieutenant tell me that his
primary concern was that his officers were protected. That is all well
and good, and I certainly understand his concern for his officers.
However, when a man or woman puts on the uniform of a police officer
(or sheriff’s deputy), he or she is saying that they are willing to
sacrifice their lives in order to make sure that the citizens of their
community stay protected. The “us versus them” attitude of many
police officers today is very harmful to the principles of freedom and
In the above-mentioned story, it was the judiciary branch of the
Indiana State government that was unwilling to hold the executive
branch of the Indiana State government accountable to the principles
of liberty and constitutional government. Once again, we see that
government cannot be trusted to police itself.
If the State of Indiana had constitutionalist sheriffs (and surely
there must be a few of them), they would have immediately renounced
the ISC decision, and made it clear that they would never allow their
deputies to operate in the tyrannical manner approved by the court’s
dastardly decision. The same should have been true for Indiana’s
police chiefs. Was there such a response? If there was, the media
Furthermore, Indiana’s governor should have immediately renounced
the ISC’s decision and issued an executive order forbidding State
and local law enforcement personnel from complying with this
unconstitutional decision. Again, if he did this, we didn’t hear
about it, did we?
The propensity of government is not only to build and strengthen
itself, but also to protect itself. This is true at every level of
government. It is up to “We the People” to hold our civil
magistrates accountable to constitutional government. And this is most
efficiently done at the State level.
The citizens of Indiana can put a stop to this nonsense if they are
of a mind to do so. They should rise as one in opposition to the
court’s opinion; they should rise as one in demanding the
resignations of the three justices who affirmed this draconian
decision; they should rise as one in demanding the resignation of
Newton County Sheriff Donald Hartman (and any other sheriff who
expressed similar views); they should rise as one in demanding that
the Indiana governor publicly repudiate this opinion and that he sign
an EO countering it; and they should rise as one in making sure that
every elected official in Indiana knows that the people of the Hoosier
State will not sit back and allow their liberties to be trampled on in
such an egregious fashion.
As I have said in past columns, liberty will be won or lost at the
State level. All this talk about “saving America” is just that:
talk. If we are serious about protecting and preserving our liberties,
we will work to ensure that our individual State is the vanguard of
freedom--not the instrument of its demise. If we cannot convince our
State and local governments to protect our liberties, we are dreaming
if we think we are going to convince Washington, D.C., to do the same.
The decision of the Indiana Supreme Court and the public statements
of Sheriff Donald Hartman prove that George Washington was spot-on:
government is a “fearful master.”
Freedom-loving Hoosiers need to stand up NOW!
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© Chuck Baldwin