At the dawn of the 1920’s, the still un-named “Moral Majority” was convinced they could eradicate the consumption of alcohol in America simply by the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Unfortunately, the only thing Prohibition succeeded in doing was to furnish the necessary income for the rise of American organized crime and political corruption that provided a supply for the demand of a thirsty nation. It also laid the foundation, brick by brick, for the rise in power of the Mafia in the U.S. to a level that was previously unimagined. By heeding the self serving wishes of only a portion of the population who claimed to be morally superior, the Federal Government played a hand in the astronomical spike in crime and a murder rate that rivals that of any large American city even today.
And for those who believe that drug use and addiction is an invention of the modern world, think again. It was during Prohibition that members of organized crime also made huge profits from the sale of refined cocaine and heroin by participating in, and perfecting the art of international drug trafficking. The French Connection wasn’t just a Gene Hackman movie.The reality of such a syndicate was made possible by the money they generated from the sale of illegal alcohol. Decades before Rock & Roll, long hair, and the “Woodstock Generation” there was a drug problem in the U.S. and in its wake, our elected officials have been trying to catch the cat they let out of the bag by prohibiting the sale of alcohol in the first place. It’s circular reasoning, but it works.
In their infinite wisdom seventy years later, the United States Supreme Court bowed to the pressure of an even more dangerous version of the “Moral Majority” in 1995 when it handed down the landmark decision of Veronia School District v. Acton that made it legal to subject high school athletes to unwarranted drug testing. By unwarranted it means that simply by applying for, and participating in an extra-curricular activity, students have to subject themselves to an invasive medical test. In other words, probable cause or the reasonable suspicion of a crime does not have to exist for school officials to legally perform a forced medical test on a student athlete.
The text of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution reads:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
It’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court didn’t read this particular Amendment before they handed down their ludicrous decision. I did however, find a degree of amusement when I read their excuses for violating a persons Constitutional rights.
And I quote:
“The first factor to be considered in determining reasonableness is the nature of the privacy interest on which the search intrudes. Here, the subjects of the Policy are children who have been committed to the temporary custody of the State as schoolmaster; in that capacity the State may exercise a degree of supervision and control greater than it could over free adults. The requirements that public school children submit to physical examinations and be vaccinated indicate that they have a lesser privacy expectation with regard to medical examinations and procedures than the general population. Student athletes have even less of a legitimate expectation, for an element of communal undress is inherent in athletic participation, and athletes are subject to physical exams and rules regulating their conduct.”
Since the “nine wise souls” have decided that children and teen-agers have no rights or freedoms that protect them from an invasion of privacy, I’d like to propose a suggestion. For every student who is forced to take an unwarranted drug test, so should the parents and school faculty of each of those kids. Since drug and alcohol use is learned behavior, I’d be willing to bet that many of the adults who are yelling the loudest for drug testing would show positive drug screen results themselves. Even though the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly guarantee the presumption of innocence to anyone, the Bill of Rights should serve as a blueprint for anyone who would support the forced medical testing of countless innocent U.S. citizens who are suspected of nothing illegal, regardless of their age.
Ratified in 1971, the 26th Amendment is the only exception that limits the rights of a private citizen based on the attainment of a minimum age. In handing down Veronia v. Acton, the Supreme Court has turned the clock back to a time when fear and the unreasonable suspicion of perceived behavior was the rule. The Bill of Rights is proof that’s not what the Founding Fathers had in mind
Can anyone say 1984, because The Thought Police are alive and well.
A War On Drugs, indeed. With the huge annual revenues that are generated from the production and sale of illegal narcotics, steroids, and human growth hormones, it looks like business as usual when it involves high level political corruption.
You can’t fight a war when everyone is on the same side.