Chilling effect

New York City recently had its “stop and frisk” policy struck down as violating the Fourth Amendment. The city has not implemented a “monitor” of the program as the court ordered. Now New York City senior attorney Celeste Koeleveld says Judge Scheindlin’s order has had a “chilling effect” on police officers.

And her point is? Does she have a concern about the “chilling effect” of the Fifth Amendment not allowing police officers to torture suspects for confessions? How about the “chilling effect” of the Eight Amendment on Judges because of the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments in the Eighth Amendment?

The entire intent of the Bill of Rights was and is to have a “chilling effect” on the power of government. In U.S. law the phrase “chilling effect” refers to the stifling effect that vague or excessively broad laws may have on legitimate … activity. A “chilling effect” only exists when government passes laws that private citizens have to obey. Not when government is overstepping bounds that have been in place for hundreds of years. It appears Koeleveld either does not understand government is a servant of the people or she wishes to change the relationship.


8 thoughts on “Chilling effect

  1. Whenever you see the phrase “rights of the government” (especially when mentioned along with “balancing” those with the rights of people) you have clear evidence that the speaker is utterly clueless about the Constitution. Either that, or utterly contemptuous.
    Unfortunately, this is seen a lot in the judicial branch, including the Supreme Court.

  2. You have to wonder whether any of the Progressives can even hear themselves speak.

    I bet this could have some chilling effects;

    “TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242
    Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”

    That must have been written by “terrorists”, huh? Either that or it was written as an attempt to combat terrorism. One or the other (gee; I can’t decide – I’ve been told that all opinions and beliefs are equally valid…)

  3. Lyle, a chilling effect at least until it is interpreted by the SCOTUS, those lions under the throne, into meaning something totally innocuous, like a prohibition to display collar tabs on uniforms of actors performing in movies or TV dressed as military or police.

    • Well I suppose we wouldn’t be having this conversation if the constitution itself hadn’t been regarded to mean anything other than what it says. The language can be as clear as a bell and it won’t matter;
      “What do you mean by “clear”?
      What do you mean by “bell”?
      Not all bells are all that clear.
      It depends on your personal definition of what “as” is.
      Social justice demands that we re-examine old documents (written by dead people who had no concept of modern complexities) in light of current needs and current situations…
      We cannot be tied down and hamstrung by old limitations in an ever-changing world.
      You speak of negative rights, of limitations and restrictions, while we speak of what government CAN do for you…”

      And then of course we need the authoritarian appeal;
      “The legal scholars (and popular, famous people) agree that we need such latitude and that the founders would have wanted it this way.”

      And of course the populace/democratic angle;
      “Most people would disagree with you…”

      and the ever-popular;
      “Yes yes yes…that’s all well and good…most of the time. This however has developed into an emergency and as you know very well; drastic times call for drastic measures. Afterwards, we can talk of your ‘rights’…”

      And those are only the soft bits, the stuff they use before the name-calling, the intimidation and the threats begin.

      Left-Speak is my native tongue. In that sense I am bi-lingual.

      • Indeed. There are a number of ways to erode liberty. The one that comes to my mind most frequently is how the Founding Fathers considered political speech to be the highest and best use of speech, and the kind to be most protected, and now we have Supreme Court Cases in which the court has found a free speech right for the employees of strip joints to dance nude, while it is acceptable to regulate nudist resorts out of existence, and my example of greatest evil and turning the original intent upside down, McCain-Feingold, whereby political speech is restricted to a point that would have the tea back in the harbor had it been enacted way back when. I know it’s been trimmed a bit, but its hobbles are still around the ankles of the body politic.

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