Indianapolis—A controversial ruling from the Indiana Supreme Court continues to fuel fears about privacy and the Fourth Amendment. Now one state lawmaker vows to take action. The ruling prohibits homeowners from resisting a police search of their property whether it is done legally or illegally.
"Your house is your castle," said Sen. Michael Young. "It's been common law that one has a right to resist an unlawful arrest."
Young (R-Indianapolis) said a single 3-2 decision by the Indiana Supreme Court marked a departure from that centuries old common law. The majority opinion by Justice Steven David read in part, "We believe a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy. Allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefor the risk of injuries to all parties."
"We just think that that's outrageous," Young said. "The only thing the court says you can do is go to court. Well, if it's happening at 3:00 in the morning the first thought is not, 'What jurisdiction do I go to?' it's 'How do I protect my home and my family?'"
An online petition against the ruling shows the Senator is far from alone. More than 1,200 signatures have already been gathered for the petition and a similar number of people have vowed to attend a protest at the state capitol on Wednesday organized through Facebook.
Young said he also plans to take action inside the Statehouse.
"We have currently in Indiana a statute, a self defense statute, that gives the right to defend any unlawful entry into one's home, vehicle while they're in it, or upon their person," Young said. "We want to make sure that this is clear that it also applies to the government."
Senator Young said the earliest the decision could be modified by the legislature is March 14th, 2012. In the meantime, he says he hopes the court revisits the decision and narrows it's scope, in hopes of preventing police or other agencies from going too far.
"Already we have a sheriff in Northern Indiana that says this decision has given him the right to go do door to door searches," Young said. "We don't want the government in our homes, in our vehicles without a warrant or without reasonable cause."
This week, law enforcement agencies and the State Supreme Court both ramped up security efforts after they reported receiving several vague threats following the decision.