According to the Indiana Supreme Court, these words:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
are an inkblot on the Constitution, a random jumble of squiggly lines which mean nothing.
How else to explain Barnes v. State, in which the court upheld a battery conviction against Richard Barnes for shoving a police officer who had entered Barnes' home illegally? The court held that society's interest in peaceable relations between ruler and subject outweigh Richard Barnes' right to be secure in his person, house, papers, and effects.
Apparently Barnes should have called the police to report that a strange policeman had broken into his home. Perhaps he should have complained to the Police Review Board, for all the good that would have done him. Or he should have filed a lawsuit, paying a lawyer tens of thousands to vindicate his right to damages worth, at most, hundreds of dollars.
Or, failing that, he should have just taken it. Life is full of little inconveniences like policemen walking into one's home for no good reason.
Scott Greenfield deals with the merits of the case, and what it says about us that things have come to this, better than I will, so I'll simply urge you to read all of Scott's take on this travesty. The legal and sociological implications of Barnes don't interest me so much as the biological and philosophical.
Which lead me to say that I believe that there is a rule older and superior to that of the Constitution. Many Americans do not believe that to be the case. There is a philosophical divide in America, with the Justices of the Indiana court, and their Constitution, on one side, and a different law on the other.
One American called it "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God".
One Englishman called it "the Law of the Jungle".
Both were talking about the same thing. This is how I would phrase it:
An ape can only be pushed so far. An ape, driven to its last extremity, will lash out and attempt to kill another ape, no matter how large and how strong, that corners the ape in its lair. This is not a question of right and wrong. It is a law of nature. The smaller ape wishes to survive, and will kill if it is given no other choice. The most timid ape, given no quarter, is a killer. The stronger ape, if it is wise, will recognize this. And the stronger ape, if it is not wise, will surely die at the hands of one of its fellow apes.
Or to put it another way:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
A rich man can hire a lawyer to drive an intruder from his home, even if that intruder is a policeman. The poor man's lawyer is a fist. If it has come to this, that a poor man cannot drive an unlawful intruder from his home, using even non-deadly force, our government is, slowly and surely, on its way to being abolished.
One might hope that the United States Supreme Court will grant certiorari and reverse what seems a patent injustice. Greenfield, for reasons he will explain, is not optimistic on that front. I'm sorry to say that I agree with him.