By John W. Whitehead
In a central authority of Wolves: The rising American Police State, John W. Whitehead charts America's transition from a society ruled by means of we the folks to a police country ruled via the powerful arm of the legislations. In such an atmosphere, the legislation turns into another device to oppress the folk. As a constitutional legal professional of nationwide prominence, and as president of The Rutherford Institute, a world civil liberties association, Whitehead has been on the leading edge of the struggle for civil liberties during this nation.
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Yet the reason we are vulnerable to being manipulated by the government out of fear is that most of us do not know and understand our liberties and how difficult it was to obtain them and how hard it is to keep them. We are Americans because, under our Constitution, we are guaranteed freedom–which makes us the oldest living constitutional democracy. I think the greatest decision by the United States Supreme Court was rendered by Justice Robert Jackson in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette in the middle of the Second World War.
Once there, the police allegedly followed the smell of burning marijuana to an apartment where, after knocking and announcing themselves, they promptly kicked the door in–allegedly on the pretext that evidence of drugs might be destroyed. Despite the fact that it turned out to be the wrong person, the wrong apartment, and a violation of every tenet that stands between us and a police state, the Supreme Court sanctioned the warrantless raid, saying that police had acted lawfully and that was all that mattered.
Jackson said, and I am paraphrasing here, that in this country there is no orthodoxy of belief or of conscience whether political, religious or anything else. You can't say that about any other country in the world. So that's why we are Americans: we are free to be ourselves; to believe in what we believe; to not interfere with other people's beliefs or conscience. Ronald Reagan was known for this phrase, but the first time I heard it was from William O. Douglas, who was a great Supreme Court justice in terms of liberty.
A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State by John W. Whitehead