July 4 should be a day of mourning. The rights our ancestors fought for have been taken away.
Over the course of my lifetime there has been a fundamental shift in the attitude of the judiciary toward Constitutional rights. I remember when guarding against any diminishing of constitutional rights was considered more important than convicting another criminal. There were cases in which the evidence needed in order to convict a person could not be collected, or used if collected, because it violated constitutional rights. There are many instances of criminals walking free because police, prosecutors, and trials violated their rights. Much of the unthinking public would be enraged, because judges let a criminal off. The public were unable to understand that the judges were protecting their rights as well as the criminal’s.
This is an age old problem. In Robert Bolt’s play, A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of England, is criticized for refusing to bend the law in order to better pursue criminals. Sir Thomas asks his critic, if I cut down the law in order to pursue devils, what happens to the innocent when authority turns on them? This question formerly had a powerful presence in the courtroom.