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When old people reminisce about things like “you could get a gallon of gas for a nickel” or “men used to wear suits and ties on airplanes,” I always wondered if I’d have anything equally baffling to tell my grandkids when I (too soon) enter my dotage. Now I’ll have one — “I remember when my getting health care didn’t depend on my employer’s religion.”
Dave Mackmiller, St. Paul
It’s odd to think police have too little power
A June 28 letter writer expressed dismay over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to require police to obtain a warrant before searching someone’s cellphone. He reasoned that police have too little power and that if a citizen has nothing to hide, he shouldn’t care if police rummage through his house or phone.
Given the fact the United States far outdistances every other country on Earth in terms of the percentage of citizens incarcerated, it seems police have more than enough tools at their disposal. If a phone is relevant to an investigation, they can follow protocol and get a search warrant. Otherwise, their prying eyes can focus elsewhere.
Individual privacy is increasingly under fire these days. I can’t fathom why any citizen would surrender it so willingly.
Jason Gabbert, Prior Lake
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1) The police don’t have “rights” to be taken away. They have responsibilities — and the powers to enforce those responsibilities. They are constrained by the Constitution and the law of the land, as it should be.
2) I notice that the June 28 letter writer “has nothing to hide.” And yet, he somehow failed to include his birthday, Social Security number, bank account info and e-mail password. It’s almost as if he does have something to hide.
Newsflash for the people who substitute sound bites for critical thinking:
Everyone has things they want to keep hidden. Everyone has private things. Everyone.
The police are supposed to get a warrant, a specific warrant, before they dig through your personal life. That’s in the Constitution, and it’s there for a reason. It protects everyone — even those with “nothing to hide” — from unnecessary, intrusive searches.
I think that’s a pretty big component of the “freedom” we hear so much about.
If you want to invite the police to rummage through your house under the mistaken notion that you “have nothing to hide” (you’ll be amazed what a determined cop can find to charge you with), go ahead. Just don’t advocate that the rest of us give up our rights in the process.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.