That's a nice article.
However, none of the officers had asked Edward any questions about the factors relating to his risk of suicide, risk of violence, or prior misuse of firearms. (Edward had no criminal record and no history of violence or self-harm.) In fact, one of the officers later admitted he "did not consult any specific psychological or psychiatric criteria" or medical professionals for his decisions that day.
Still, police were convinced that Edward could hurt himself and insisted he head to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. After refusing and insisting that his mental health wasn't their business, Edward agreed only after police (falsely) promised they wouldn't seize his guns while he was gone.
Compounding the dishonesty, police then told Kim that Edward had consented to the confiscation. Believing the seizures were approved by her husband, Kim led the officers to the two handguns the couple owned, which were promptly seized. Even though Edward was immediately discharged from the hospital, police only returned the firearms after he filed a civil rights lawsuit against them.
In jurisdictions that have extended the community caretaking exception to homes, "everything from loud music to leaky pipes have been used to justify warrantless invasion of the home," a joint amicus brief by the ACLU, the Cato Institute, and the American Conservative Union revealed.
Noting that "the ultimate touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is 'reasonableness,'" the Justice Department argued that warrants should not be "presumptively required when a government official's action is objectively grounded in a non-investigatory public interest, such as health or safety."
Expanding the community caretaking exception to "allow warrantless entries into peoples' homes on a whim," argued the [Institute for Justice] brief, "invokes the arbitrary, looming threat of general writs that so incited the Framers" and would undermine "the right of the people to be secure" in their homes.
"The Fourth Amendment protects our right to be secure in our property, which means the right to be free from fear that the police will enter your house without warning or authorization," said Institute for Justice Attorney Joshua Windham. "A rule that allows police to burst into your home without a warrant whenever they feel they are acting as 'community caretakers' is a threat to everyone's security."
Wow, Biden sure is pulling the Democratic anchor claiming1 the Constitution and it's protected rights are just suggestions and optional.
That's not what the DoJ is saying. It's saying those rights are rights to protect you from incrimination. If the cops want to enter your home for any reason other than to conduct a criminal investigation, then your Constitutional protections do not apply.
The political party of the administration doesn't matter. A Republican or Democratic administration would argue to expand the power of the government, because the DoJ represents the government and it's its job to argue for its client.
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.
- Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion, and Death, 1960.