In a scant two weeks, statism has been dealt two sharp kicks to it's collective groin by the Fourth Amendment, which is apparently still alive, thanks to the SCOTUS and the US District Court in Eugene, OR.
The SCOTUS case, the Supremes ruled, unanimously, that the police may not attach a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) tracker to a suspect's vehicle without first obtaining a warrant.
In the Eugene, OR case, the civil jury empaneled to hear the civil damages case of an arrested enviro-nut returned a verdict in favor of the enviro (but not much money damages, the lawyer got almost all of those), but more importantly, the jury found that the arresting officer had improperly seized the video camera of the protester, which the protester had used to record the initiation of the arrest sequence. The video probably didn't survive the concrete face-plant which ended the arrest sequence, but we don't get to see it, so we don't know.
There are two victories here for the Fourth Amendment, which says that no unreasonable search or seizure may be made, and that persons arrested may expect that warrants will be obtained before seizures of property.
This second case may be one of a less-then-brilliant cop underperforming the standards set by everyone, including his own Department. There IS an Oregon law on "intercepting communications", and it DOES say that both parties of a recorded conversation must agree to be recorded, but there are some exceptions. Being a cop is not, by itself, one of those exceptions.
The other thing the arresting officer could have done is make sure the prisoner's property was protected. The prisoner has a right to expect that. The video camera should have been carefully handled, and after the arrest, during the 5 hours the prisoner remained in jail prior to bailing out, it would have been easy for the officer to consult with a District Attorney, make a case to the DA that he needed a search warrant to examine the recordings of the camera for evidence of his arrest contained thereon (there should have been some such evidence), get the warrant and keep the camera when the suspect made bail, issuing a proper evidence receipt for it to the bailed-out suspect.
The arresting officer did NOT follow that extremely standard procedure which is taught at the Oregon Police Academy, and his penalty for not following it is to lose his case.
The counterculture's vast unwashed street mobs will now fire up an extra spliff or two in celebration, or drain a short dog of Maddog, but they really ought not to celebrate so much. It is the Constitution of the producers which the SCOTUS and the Judge in Eugene have protected, and in the Eugene case, the Judge was simply pointing out some sloppy police work. If I'm a Sheriff or a Chief of Police, I don't lose any sleep over this, I simply call in my Training Division people and remind them to highlight the procedures on treating evidence properly when next they give my officers an update on court decisions, and I might blast a memo to everyone on that advice in meanwhile.
I'm going to celebrate myself, because the Statists have just been told, twice now, that they must encourage their police officers to actually USE the smarts they were supposedly hired with and for. I'm not cheering for the enviro-nuts. They didn't win a thing here, and they ought to remind themselves that while MY Constitution protects their right to assemble and call for the destruction of MY society, that when they actually take STEPS to destroy that society, they WILL be opposed, and that wrapping themselves in that Constitution at that point does not make them bulletproof.