Monday, January 4, 2010

Judge has spectators in his courtroom randomly drug tested

Courthouse News Service: "NASHVILLE (CN) - A judge in Dickson County, Tenn., had officers pull a spectator out of his courtroom 'on a hunch,' held him in custody and made him submit to a urinalysis for drugs, the man claims in Federal Court. Benjamin Marchant claims that General Sessions Judge Durwood Moore admitted that he 'routinely drug-screens 'spectators' in his courtroom if he 'thinks' they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.' Moore allegedly called it the 'routine policy of the court.'"

The judge later admitted that this was wrong. Despite popular belief among many judges, James Madison did not slip a "drug war exception" into the U.S. Constitution.


  1. Sounds close to my city, where they can run a sniffer dog over you at the train station with NO NEED for suspicion, or reasonable grounds to conduct a search. Just random people walking through. Welcome to Australia, the next totalitarian country.

  2. I guess in his court room you are guilty until proven innocent.

  3. Just another in a long line of unforgivable violations of our Constitutional privacy rights. While this is an unusual example of this sort of mentality, Kosmos is absolutely right -- this sort of stuff happens everywhere.

    Hell, look at highway DUI checkpoints. They represent exactly the sort of baseless suspicion from which we're supposed to be protected. Same thing for the "stop and frisk" programs that police in New York and other big cities have become so fond of. Not only does that sort of thing make profiling and racial bias dangerously commonplace, it's a direct violation of our rights as described in the Constitution.

    Anyway, I'm glad to see Merchant is suing the judge, and that the Judiciary Court has reprimanded him. If it were me in the audience, I would have told him exactly where he could expect me to pee.

  4. Where is the law and order crowd when it comes to enforcing the highest law in the land? We have a police force for everything else - is it time for a Constitution police? We could institute draconian mandatory minimums, three strikes lifetime incarceration policies, and even special double or triple penalties when the offense is committed while on the public payroll.

    Does anyone think we could get our law makers or law enforcers to support putting some teeth into the Constitution? It is imperative that we get violators off the streets! Think of the children...

  5. This is absurd and shameful. Sure sounds like a "drug war exception" to the Constitution to me.


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