A truly execrable decision from the Indiana supreme court says that people may not resist the police entering their homes, even when the police entry is illegal:
Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes. In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer’s entry.
“We believe … a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,” David said.
The Magna Carta reference is no hyperbole; the opinion itself acknowledges it:
The English common-law right to resist unlawful police action existed for over three hundred years, and some scholars trace its origin to the Magna Carta in 1215.
The US Supreme Court has also upheld the right:
If the officer had no right to arrest, the other party might resist the illegal attempt to arrest him, using no more force than was absolutely necessary to repel the assault constituting the attempt to arrest.
This, by the way, is exactly what the victim here did. He didn’t shoot at the police, or anything reckless like that. He physically blocked the door, and when the police tried to force their way in, he pushed back.
(Via the Corner.)
POSTSCRIPT: The opinion pretty much admits to judicial activism:
We believe however that a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.
What follows is not a legal argument, but, as promised, a public policy argument. But here’s what is what is particularly troubling about when the courts change the law. We are protected from ex post facto laws passed through the political process; the legislature cannot make a law that retroactively criminalizes something that happened before the law was passed. But we have no such protection when the courts change the law. In this case, the court admits that it is changing the law, and the victim goes to jail as a result:
In sum, we hold that Indiana [sic] the right to reasonably resist an unlawful police entry into a home is no longer recognized under Indiana law. Accordingly, the trial court‘s failure to give Barnes‘s proffered jury instruction on this right was not error.