Excerpt From Judge Hart’s Inspiring Dissent in Wigley

23 03 2012
Below is an excerpt from Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Jo Hart’s dissent in Wigley v. State.  Judge Hart wrote a powerful dissent of one against a four judge majority.  The final paragraphs below demonstrate exactly why she is perfect to be on the Arkansas Supreme Court.
“If there is to be liberty, then its survival depends upon the judiciary guarding it jealously. Our commission is to require that the government act faithfully in accordance with the Fourth Amendment, not to repeatedly absolve its warrantless searches and seizures. As Justice Bradley advised, “[I]llegitimate and unconstitutional practices get their first footing … by silent approaches and slight deviations from legal modes of procedure…. It is the duty of the courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizen, and against any stealthy encroachment thereon.” Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, 635, 6 S.Ct. 524, 29 L.Ed. 746 (1886).
Although the Bill of Rights was a product of human efforts and, therefore, inherently imperfect, what the Founders left us, in my view, is far better than any alternative offered to date. We should, therefore, inspire compliance by the government, and in doing so, we would protect the law-abiding citizen from unreasonable intrusion by the government. The intent of the Fourth Amendment is not to protect criminals, but it is to establish rules to protect the innocent and to maintain the security of the citizenry in their own homes. By enforcing this rule, we would not only follow the mandates of the law, but we would also confirm to the people our continued faith in the vision given us by our Founders. It is upon that foundation that I respectfully offer this dissent.”

Wigley v. State, 73 Ark. App. 399, 409, 44 S.W.3d 751, 759 (2001) (Hart, J., dissenting).




One response

3 04 2012
Shakita Newingham

Only a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great layout. “Justice is always violent to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.” by Daniel Defoe.

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