Promoted by Rosi, who used to be represented in the NJ Senate by Mike Doherty, and is glad she isn’t anymore.
Here’s Michael Doherty — NJ state Senator, uber-“conservative” and confused libertarian — in today’s PNJ:
“While law enforcement was searching for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, they had no problem trampling the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of an entire neighborhood of law-abiding citizens as they went door to door pulling innocent families and children out of their homes at gunpoint before conducting warrantless searches of their homes,” said Doherty.
“Now, just days later, it’s absolutely shocking to learn that the administration of Governor Patrick is refusing requests to release information related to the public benefits provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the Tsarnaev brothers at taxpayer expense, citing their right to privacy. It’s a sick perversion of our laws that allows for accused terrorists to be afforded greater privacy rights than law-abiding citizens.”
Umm, first of all Mr. Doherty alleges that Patrick wrong to violate people’s rights in searching those homes, then demands that Patrick violate someone else’s rights. As near as I can tell, that is the same thing — Doherty is saying it’s sometimes OK to violate people’s rights, he just disagrees on which people. Not very strict Constitutionalist.
Reminds me of this old joke.
But even better, Mr. Doherty completely misses that the reason for the voluntary — I repeat, voluntary — lockdown in Watertown was to protect people’s lives. It was an emergency situation where the police and FBI were going door to door looking for a particular person who might be hiding in any of those homes, a threat to the lives of these law-abiding citizens. Protecting the lives of law-abiding citizens has long been seen as a valid reason to search without a warrant, whether it’s because you hear fighting or are chasing a perpetrator.
But there is no public need to learn the history of the bombers’ welfare check history. It’s simply prurient interest and a desire to make political hay, and that is certainly not a public good. It may be a Doherty good so he can scream and yell and get attention, but for the rest of us it doesn’t improve our lives or protect us to know whether or not they got government relief.