Chickens coming home to roost

In 2000 Dudley Hiibel was arrested and convicted of a crime solely because he refused to identify himself to a police officer.  Hiibel argued that in a free country people don't have to produce their papers just because the police demand them and he argued that his arrest was unconstitutional.  The case, Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, went to the Supreme Court and Dahlia Lithwick, Slate's legal correspondent, made fun of libertarians who supported the plaintiff calling them hysterical and loopy.  She wrote:

It would be easier to credit the Cato and ACLU arguments if we didn't already have to hand over our ID to borrow a library book, obtain a credit card, drive a car, rent videos, obtain medical treatment, or get onto a plane. So the stark question then becomes this: Why are you willing to tell everyone but the state who you are? It's a curious sort of privacy that must be protected from nobody except the government… [Yeah, it's curious that people want to protect themselves from the one organization in society that can legally deprive them of life and liberty. AT]

The slippery-slope arguments–that this leads to a police state in which people are harassed for doing nothing–won't really fly.

Well in Arizona, it's flying now.


Comments for this post are closed