Until this year, I had always had more faith in the judicial branch as the gatekeepers of our rights. My faith has been shaken, Save Jerseyans.
Kyleigh’s Law is best known for its decal provision whereby new drivers must affix them to their car in order to make their age apparent to police officers. Douglas Trautmann brought the suit to New Jersey court on the grounds that the law violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition agaisnt unreasonable search and seizure.
This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that the controversial law did not violate the Fourth Amendment and that someone’s “age” doesn’t constitute restrictive information.
To say I disagree with this decision may be putting it too lightly. Today’s ruling leaves the door open for state-sanctioned age profiling, along with surrendering another iota of privacy previously enioyed by our citizens. Is it really the business of law enforcement to ask how old you are if you are otherwise properly maintaining your vehicle? These drivers have done nothing wrong, and certainly have not warranted being singled-out based on an arbitrary age requirement.
Here’s one particularly disheatening line from the decision:
Young drivers have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their age group, which can generally be determined by their physical appearance and is routinely exposed to public view. [Emphasis added]
For starters, I am thoroughly uncomfortable with the government defining what a “reasonable expectation of privacy” means and where they would draw that line. Every individual has the right to privacy and their age should have no effect on this. We should not be marking our citizens based on some arbitrary age or license they may carry. Let the officers determine whether or not the driver should be on the road, not a red decal.
Government has once again overstepped its bounds and is forcing citizens to reveal personal information about themselves in order to be identified so the state can make an quick buck at their expense. If the individual driving can perform the action within the normal course of the law, then why should a sticker change any of that?
I can’t help but feel that if we had stood up to the government when it came to seatbelt requirements back in the day, then perhaps these latest traffic-related privacy invasions wouldn’t be occurring? Don’t give the government an inch. Each inch is too precious and you may never get it back, Save Jerseyans.
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