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Thread: Anniversary!!--Writs of Assistance

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    Anniversary!!--Writs of Assistance

    Whew! Almost missed it! Hat tip to John Hall at www.fourthamendment.com

    Today is the 243rd anniversary of James Otis' arguments against Writs of Assistance in the Paxton case.

    A Writ of Assistance was a pre-arranged general search warrant that pre-authorized the king's agents to enter any shop or home and search it for goods upon which taxes had not been paid. No probable cause needed. The agent could call on others nearby to assist him in the search, thus Writs of Assistance.

    The previous writ in Paxton's jurisdiction had expired--they expired six months after the king's death. So, the court was considering whether to prevent the writ from being renewed. James Otis just arrived in the court--he represented none of the parties--and argued against the writ on behalf of the people. He went on for something like four hours.

    A young lawyer was in the courtroom that day--John Adams. Years later he said the spark of revolution was born that day in that courtroom.

    Historians can trace a direct link between that courtroom and the Fourth Amendment. I forget the connection. Perhaps John Adams recommended the 4A to James Madison, or maybe recommended it to his state's committee making up proposals to send to Madison for inclusion in a bill of rights.

    The history on this right is interesting, and brief. Well worth taking some time and googling it or checking wiki. For example, contemporaries complained that the searchers were the lowest sort--common, vulgar, rude. You get the idea they were people who couldn't find a productive job doing much else. (Sound familiar?) Also, based on the history, apparently locks were comparatively expensive back then; people complained about broken locks a good bit.

    If you have the budget ($20?) there is a good paperback. The Origins of the Bill of Rights by Leonard Levy. There's a bonus--Levy addresses the history of more than just the 4A. Lots of great info in that book.

    Finally, I can't say enough about fourthamendment.com. Great blog. Tons of cases. He selects a few recent cases each day and then posts a quick one or two sentences about each. Fair warning, though. Don't blame me if you start losing sleep from reading his blog and seeing what courts are doing to the 4A day in and day out.
    Last edited by Citizen; 02-24-2014 at 09:52 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    So, no "Terry" stops, random house searches, warrants without a sworn oath or affirmation (of probable cause), etc?

    That would be a nice world to live in. What happened to all those liberties/freedom/rights that our former countrymen shed blood for?
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    +1 James Otis!
    +1 Citizen!

    Sometimes it amazes me... This, for instance, was only 243 years ago. I've met more than one person who's lived to be over 100 years old. So, we are essentially talking a couple of lifetimes ago. And we are already losing grasp. But with threads like these we can keep holding on!
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 02-24-2014 at 10:58 PM.
    Advocate freedom please

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    So, no "Terry" stops, random house searches, warrants without a sworn oath or affirmation (of probable cause), etc?

    That would be a nice world to live in. What happened to all those liberties/freedom/rights that our former countrymen shed blood for?
    Indeed, 1771 would have been a much nicer world than our post 1776 one.

    Math is a funny thing when you use it.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 02-24-2014 at 11:05 PM.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    So, where's the party and will beer be provided or must I bring my own?

    Not much has changed in 243 years it seems, except for the "calling on others" part. Cops, nor the IRS, will call your neighbor to assist them in trampling your rights, especially the trampling of that pretty much useless, at this point, 4A right.

    I suggest that the MA forum members Google the 4A and see if their local LEAs were in compliance with the law of their state and the intent of the concept put forth by the 4A. I'll wager that they will not need Google to determine that the 4A is pretty much a topic for their coffee clatch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    +1 James Otis!
    +1 Citizen!

    Sometimes it amazes me... This, for instance, was only 243 years ago. I've met more than one person who's lived to be over 100 years old. So, we are essentially talking a couple of lifetimes ago. And we are already losing grasp. But with threads like these we can keep holding on!
    A generation is generally considered to be 20 yrs....so a dozen have past. Folks who live to 100? Lucky or unlucky depending on those last 20 or 30 yrs.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    +1 James Otis!
    +1 Citizen!

    Sometimes it amazes me... This, for instance, was only 243 years ago. I've met more than one person who's lived to be over 100 years old. So, we are essentially talking a couple of lifetimes ago. And we are already losing grasp. But with threads like these we can keep holding on!
    But it is 12 generations. So, every 20 years the government through the public school system gets to brainwash a new batch of our kids.

    The Fourth Amendment is almost gone, unfortunately it's going to be a huge battle to get it back.

    Saul Alinsky is alive and well.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    But it is 12 generations. So, every 20 years the government through the public school system gets to brainwash a new batch of our kids.

    <snip>
    Mission completed? The gist of your post.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Mission completed? The gist of your post.
    The powers that be control both sides of the equation. They would love an armed uprising in this country.

    Remember, Deutsche bank and Volkswagen, for example, existed before WWII and still exist today.

    "...the State 'has the supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State... for the right of the world spirit is above all special privileges.'" Author/historian William Shirer, quoting Georg Hegel in his book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

    If (A) my idea of freedom conflicts with (B) your idea of freedom then (C) neither of us can be free until everyone agrees to be a slave.
    Last edited by color of law; 02-25-2014 at 10:12 AM.

  10. #10
    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    I knew that "generation" would be wrong, since I didn't know how they're usually considered (now I do though, thanks), so that is why I said lifetime instead

    I would agree that the public school system is both a huge problem in and of itself as well as a large contributor to other serious problems in society.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 02-25-2014 at 01:50 PM.
    Advocate freedom please

  11. #11
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    I knew that "generation" would be wrong, since I didn't know how they're usually considered (now I do though, thanks), so that is why I said lifetime instead
    Don't feel bad, some people can't figure out the difference between Revolutionary America and pre-revolution Colonial America.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    +1 Citizen!
    Thanks, but I'm just the conduit. The fellas who deserve the kudos are John Wesley Hall at www.fourthamendment.com and Leonard Levy, author of Origins of the Bill of Rights and Origins of the Fifth Amendment: the Right Against Self-Incrimination.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  13. #13
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Not only has this spark of the revolution been turned on it's head by the powers to be, they have effectively abolished the 3rd amendment and the part of the declaration where the officers eat out our sustenance, with their standing army of redcoats I mean blue coats.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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