Friday, September 28, 2012

Rule by Decree

Most people think that the antithesis of rule of law is anarchy. That is not completely accurate. There is also rule by decree of the tyrant or sovereign. Such as in East Saint Louis:
Angered by the recent murders of four young people, the mayor announced today that police are going to impose drastic new measurers [sic] to keep teens off the streets.
* * *

Among the new rules:

**Minors are to be off the streets at ten o’clock on both weeknights and weekend nights.

**Minors on the street during school hours will be arrested on sight.
[What about home-schoolers or those out for legitimate reasons?]

**Police will also perform I.D. checks on street corners and conduct gun searches, and Parks says he won’t hesitate to call in the National Guard if the spike in violence continues.
["Show me your papers!"]

“The loiterers will be arrested, not warned, but arrested. Those who are hanging out at 11th and Bond, 15th and Lynch, 38th and Waverly, wherever you happen to be, if you are loitering, you will be arrested.”
[Translation: If you stop for the cross-walk, that is loitering; if you don't stop for the cross-walk, that is j-walking; no matter what, we will arrest who we want, when we want]

Surrounded by police, Parks announced they also plan to arrest adult males and young men wearing gang colors, amounting to a city-wide dress code.
[The slippery slope begins--now we're moving beyond minors to adults males and young men. Does this include accessorizing?]

“No royal blue, no bright red to be worn by our men or our boys in this community,” Parks said. “Why is that? Those colors have long been affiliated with gang kinds of affiliations”
[Brilliant. Banned from their favored colors, unable to select different colors or symbols, the gangs will by stymied and have to disband]

Asked about Constitutional concerns, and the need for probable cause, Parks says the recent wave of crime is the probable cause and justifies the extreme new measures.
[Translation: The Constitution was written by a bunch of old, dead Crackers, so who cares]

“Vehicles that are moving will be stopped and searched for guns, weapons, drugs, and open alcohol and any other violations that are taking place,” Parks later told KMOX’s Mark Reardon. “People who are walking, people who are bicycling, can be stopped and searched for the same and, when it comes to state IDs, we’re going to be confirming that state IDs are in place for everyone involved.”
[Whoa. We're suddenly beyond minors and young men to just "people" in general?]

Parks noted the legal questions surrounding his new policies but said “most importantly, we have to do something.”
[Because it's more important to have a knee jerk reaction than to think things through]

“We have desperate times, they call for desperate measures and they call for extreme measures, things that we may not have done before, to get the desired results. You cannot grow as a city if your children are being wiped out and never given an opportunity to live.”
[East St. Louis must be smaller than I thought if four deaths risks wiping out all of the children]
Yeah. Give the mayor absolute power and he'll make sure you are safe.

Well, this type of ban provides fertile grounds for a lawsuit based on gender discrimination, violation of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, and violation of the Fourth Amendment.

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