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Bible Inspired America's Founding Documents






By Pastor Chuck Baldwin

April 14, 2004

A recent appeals court ruling in Louisiana directly assaulted the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment clearly states, "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."

However, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, in a decision, which if upheld, could be the death knell of yet another constitutionally-protected liberty, recently chose to ignore, even dismiss, the Fourth Amendment.

Here is how the story was reported on The New Orleans Channel, "It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone: Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business."

The story continued by saying, "The decision in United States v. Kelly Gould, No. 0230629cr0, was made March 24 by the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals."

A cursory review of the case leads me to believe that the police officers involved acted with pure motives, and as one who is a firm believer in law and order, I am extremely sympathetic to the risks involved in day to day police work. The court's ruling in this case, however, is extremely problematic, the character of Mr. Gould, notwithstanding.

As you know, our federal courts have completely inverted, and thus destroyed, the First Amendment which prohibits the federal government from interfering with religious expression. They have also done serious injury to the Second Amendment which gives every American the unfettered right to keep and bear arms. Now, it seems that the federal courts have set their sights on the Fourth Amendment which guarantees a person's right to be secure in their houses and effects.

Americans need to understand that the Bill of Rights is the only legal document that stands in the way of oppression. It is the Bill of Rights that helps distinguish the United States from a system of oligarchic despotism of whatever stripe. It is the Bill of Rights that has helped create the freest nation on earth. And it is the destruction of the Bill of Rights that will undo our republic and eviscerate our freedoms. Therefore, any attempt by any court to suspend, or make exceptions to, the Bill of Rights should be resisted by every patriotic American, including law enforcement officers!

The Fourth Amendment, perhaps more than any other, is the salient principle that gives integrity to American law enforcement. Without it, law enforcement officers are quickly turned into lawless Storm Troopers. This must never be allowed to happen in these United States. Americans must be assured that our courts and law enforcement personnel are acting within the restraints, and by the authority, of the Constitution.

One of the oldest maxims in America's legal history is the one that says, "It is better for a guilty man to go free, than for an innocent man to go to jail." That principle is still true today! Our entire judicial system is predicated upon the principle that a man is innocent until proven guilty. And before anyone would attempt to expunge that principle, let him take a seat in the defendant's chair!

Judge Jerry Smith rightly dissented with the majority opinion and warned, "I have no doubt that the deputy sheriffs believed that they were acting reasonably and with good intentions. But the old adage warns us that 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.'"

I concur with Judge Smith. Good intentions, even by law enforcement officers, are not enough. The Bill of Rights is the litmus test by which every judge, every police officer, and every prosecutor must be judged!

I realize that rigid compliance with the Bill of Rights makes the job of policemen and prosecutors more onerous, but it is the only way America can maintain a semblance of true justice. After all, which is more arduous, a burdensome legal system or tyranny?

© 2004 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved

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Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence. 

Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet and newspapers.  

To learn more about his radio talk show please visit his web site at: When responding, please include your name, city and state E-mail:











"I realize that rigid compliance with the Bill of Rights makes the job of policemen and prosecutors more onerous, but it is the only way America can maintain a semblance of true justice. After all, which is more arduous, a burdensome legal system or tyranny?"