The Annoyed Man wrote:Without warrants? I don't think so.
I was beginning to seriously worry, TAM. I have been agreeing with you much too often lately.
This is nothing new for the Bureau. They have done all of this before, without needing warrants, but permission had to be obtained up higher in their internal chain-of-command to avoid a messy public relations situation caused by a klutzy SA intent on making a reputation, not because they had any constitutional concern. Many other law enforcement agencies have done the same for a long time.
It concerns me greatly, and here I am agreeing with you again, but I am sadly convinced that if a little bit of discretion and common sense are used this will pass muster in the judicial system. Not having seen the hard copy, it would appear to me that the enumerated powers now given to low-level SAs all appear to be within generally-accepted court-blessed exceptions to 4th Amendment limitations. You would think that the Bureau would at least require such actions to be bounced off the appropriate SAC first, and perhaps they do.
This is just a further indication of the continuing erosion of the 4th Amendment by all three branches of the federal government. 9/11 is the excuse generally given by all three, but is it really necessary to go so far? That is the question.