- uploaded: Mar 21, 2012
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Restoring the Castle Doctrine: Police Unions vs. the Fourth Amendment
Police unions have mobilized to thwart efforts to restore the Castle Doctrine the ancient Anglo-Saxon principle that an individual is sovereign over his home, and can use lethal force to defend it, as well as his person and property, and has no moral duty to retreat when confronting criminal aggression. This understanding is embedded in the Second Amendment, of course, but it is also woven into the Third and Fourth Amendments as well, which recognize the right of the sovereign individual to withstand invasions by people acting as agents of the State.
Over the last decade, several states have enacted statutes providing legal support for that natural right. â€œCaste Doctrineâ€ bills in Minnesota and Indiana have provoked opposition from police unions, because they explicitly recognize the right of individuals to repel criminal aggression by police officers. As noted in the following essay, representatives of police unions have admitted that in many circumstances it is all but impossible to distinguish between the behavior of â€œlaw enforcementâ€officers and home invaders â€” which is why recognizing the citizens right to repel unlawful aggressors irrespective of their identity is seen as an acute threat to officer safety. They also insist that citizens are never justified in resisting law enforcement a blanket prohibition that would apply to circumstances in which the officers behavior is unambiguously criminal, and the actions of the citizen are clearly lawful.