Privacy rights

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

The Lima (Ohio) News

We're disturbed by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that requires citizens to provide their names to police officers, even if those officers have no probable cause that the person whose name they seek committed any sort of crime.

This will lead to fishing expeditions by police agencies.

It is a serious undermining of privacy rights.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that "obtaining a suspect's name in the course of a stop serves important government interests." Perhaps.

But the main interest of the U.S. Constitution is to protect individual prerogatives against unjustified incursions by the state.

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