27 April 2006

Non-Existent Constitutional Rights

We live in a constitutionalized society. But, amazingly, there are rights that the constitution doesn't create. A federal appellate decision in the case of Grubbs v. Bailes notes several of those non-rights, which I pass along for your general educational enrichment.

Somewhat disconcertingly, the person who alleged that each of these rights existed was not simply an unrepresented rabel rouser. Instead, he actually had a lawyer, Mr. John M. Butler of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I do not know what he was thinking. Perhaps his appellate brief had a more plausible theory. He has been involved in some other rather odd cases, such as a case where a school district was accused of suspending a student for allegedly casting a hex on a teacher.

No Right To Point Guns At Trespassers

The United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, today, noted in an appeal from an Oklahoma civil rights case against police who arrested him for pointing his gun at some people who said were trespassing on his property that (citation to record omitted):

Plaintiff also insists that he has a constitutional right "to point a pistol at someone in the protection of his property." He cites no authority for such a right and this court will not create such authority.


Indeed, the Court also notes that even in Oklahoma, it is a felony to point a gun at someone, even if they are trespassing, so long as they do not threaten to commit a felony in connection with that trespass.

No Right To Have Police Believe You

Also, the 10th Circuit opinion linked above notes that you do not have is the right to have the police believe your version of the story as it decides whether or not to arrest you, rather than the version of the story put forward by the people that the police determine to be victims in a case.

No Right To Make Police Enforce Laws To Your Satisfaction

Finally, the 10th Circuit holds, in the opinion linked above, that you do not have a right to have prosecuting attorneys and police enforce all violations of criminal law to your satisfaction, but instead, merely a right not to be singled out and treated differently from everyone else, for some improper reason, when someone violates a criminal law of which you claim to be a victim. Generally speaking, there is no general, enforceable right to have the police enforce criminal laws for your benefit.

1 comment:

Don Kosloff said...

Rights existed before the Consitition was written, they were given by God, as is noted in the Declaration of Independence.

The right to point a gun at a trespasser is an essential part of the inalienable right to life embodied in self-defense.

That concept that a written authority must be cited for inalienable rights is inherently evil. Which is why it was expressed by a judge.