Immanentizing the something or other

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Well, I can't say i'm surprised at the outcome...
fez
lucasthegray
Well, the Supreme Court has issued a ruling on Hiibel v. Nevada in a 5-4 decision. I am now officially pissed off.
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I'm kind of confused here...

I'm don't understand the uproar over this one. The dissenting opinion says:
"What the majority fails to recognize, is that it is the observable conduct, not the identity, of a person, upon which an officer must legally rely when investigating crimes and enforcing the law."
Well, let's say I call the police and say, "I saw my neighbor XYZ stab someone," and then give a brief physical description. Now, according to the dissenters, since the police did not observe it, they should not be able to do anything? This seems kind of odd.

I do see the problems in just pulling over random people who don't match any relevant descriptions and asking for their names, hoping to stumble across someone whose name matches a wanted criminal. But the dissenting opinion about identity having no place in police investigations or enforcement seems truly odd.

Re: I'm kind of confused here...

Well, let's say I call the police and say, "I saw my neighbor XYZ stab someone," and then give a brief physical description. Now, according to the dissenters, since the police did not observe it, they should not be able to do anything? This seems kind of odd.

No, no - it's observed behavior, with identifying information given by the observers. That's okay. But if all the informant tells the cop is that the guy has a scraggly beard and brown hair, the cop can't stop every scraggly brown-bearded guy on the street and ask his name.

Except now in Nevada you can. (And in 20 other states apparently, including ours.)

-Adam

Re: I'm kind of confused here...

Ah, thanks for the clarification; I wasn't sure if "observed" meant "observed by the police" or not.

Just wondering though, even if this law didn't pass, the police could still stop every guy that has a scraggly beard and brown hair and ask them questions, but couldn't force him to give his name, is that correct?

Possible Clarification

Someone at work further filled me in: even befoe the ruling, the police could require you to give them your name so long as they had a good reason and shared that reason with you.

However, now it seems that neither is required. This Sucks as it will most likely have a chilling effect on public gatherings such as protests.

your papers, please.

and the slow slide towards a total Police State continues.

i again put forth the idea that the NE Revs be renamed to Dynamo Boston.

Re: your papers, please.

Yay, I now understand this joke! =)

I must admit, I don't quite get it. I have spent some time thinking about the article and the implications but maybe I am coming at it from the wrong direction. I just don't quite understand how this is so huge, I mean I know it is huge but I don't quite get how. Any opinions on the implications would be welcome.

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