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No Quarter

Police from Henderson and North Las Vegas, Nev., wanted to use Anthony Mitchell’s house to get a “tactical advantage” for operations against one of his neighbors. He said no. Officers pointed guns through his windows and, later, bashed down his door, shot him with a pepperball, and “forcibly escorted him” out — or so Mitchell and his parents, who say their nearby home was also invaded, allege in their lawsuit. One of their claims is that in using their home for tactical advantage, the police violated the Third Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bans quartering soldiers in homes against the owners’ will. But federal judge Andrew Gordon said the police aren’t soldiers — even though many abuses that helped inspire the Bill of Rights were committed by soldiers acting as law enforcers, even though the police as we know them weren’t a familiar kind of government employee in the Founders’ America, and even though the police have grown to look a lot like the military — and therefore the Third Amendment offers no protection. However, he let the suit proceed on other grounds. (AC/Washington Post) ...Somebody should have told the Redcoats to wear blue.
Original Publication Date: 05 April 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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