Share Thread:  
Straight out of Philly, if you can believe it; would you want this judge before you?
A strange Philly opinion with exposition on the Pa. Constitution, quite applicable to gun cases with an eye to the abuses in Philly:

To grant immunity in this case would render Pennsylvania’s Constitution subservient to state statute, and thereby make the guarantee to be free from unreasonable seizures by the government a nearly empty promise. Moreover, the City’s proffered position endangers the fundamental rights of all Pennsylvanians to privacy and freedom from excessive force by the government. The Founders of this Commonwealth believed these rights were essential to a fair government, free from tyranny, and must be preserved within the constitution. These constitutional rights cannot be waived or abrogated absent a constitutional amendment by the people.

It would take a painful distortion of history to conclude that the people of Pennsylvania risked their lives for a constitution that began with the “Declaration of Rights” but meant this document to be merely laudatory with no permanence or power to enforce these rights. This Court simply will not stoop to such a fiction.

Pennsylvania has “always maintained a strong preference for the rights of the individual in the face of coercive state action.” Matos, 672 A.2d at 771 (Article I, Section 8 case). Article I, Section 8 specifically addresses governmental action and not the conduct of private citizens. Commonwealth v. Corley, 491 A.2d 829, 831 (Pa. 1985). The Martin Court’s discussion of Article I, Section 8’s limits on overzealous police conduct is particularly instructive: "But all things are not permissible even in the pursuit of a compelling state interest. The Constitution does not cease to exist merely because the government’s interest is compelling. A police state does not arise whenever crime gets out of hand. . . . [A] free society cannot remain free if police may use drug detection dogs or any other crime detection device without restraint." 626 A.2d at 561. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court echoed this admonition more recently in Commonwealth v. Polo: We must be mindful not to disregard our constitutionally guaranteed right of privacy encompassed with Article I, Section 8 in our zeal to eliminate criminal conduct. . . . We emphatically reject the Superior Court’s “end justifies the means” analysis. 759 A.2d 372, 376 (Pa. 2000).

Thus, precluding remedies for constitutional violations would require that we ignore the self-executing language in the Pennsylvania Constitution that physical injuries must have remedies, drop fundamental constitutional rights to a lower status than common law torts and defy the Constitution’s prohibition against denying civil rights to its citizens. The irony would be that a person who has been harmed by a governmental abuse of power in defiance of the Pennsylvania Constitution would have no remedy but an individual harmed by another individual in a common law tort would have a remedy. Common law torts caused by private people would have superior treatment under the law than governmental constitutional violations. Such a conclusion would distort the Pennsylvania Constitution beyond recognition.

And the sad story of getting shut down by the Commonwealth Court obviously follows:

"Another factor which weighs against the creation of a civil cause of action is the potential financial burden for state, local and municipal government entities."
"In addition, we note that, in the factual situation presented here, there exists little legal authority from other states for the creation of a remedy."
Is the court given statutory authority to do so much that it does to give remedy in other situations?
"Furthermore, monetary damages are only one type of remedy that might be available for a violation of Article I, Section 8.44 Other remedies, such as declaratory or prospective injunctive relief, could provide a remedy. While such remedies might not provide Jones “complete relief,” see Bush, 462 U.S. at 388, 103 S.Ct. 2404, they are, nonetheless, remedies under the Pennsylvania Constitution."
In case you didn't know!
"“The common law has always evolved to meet changing circumstances and should continue to do so. It is quite another thing to suggest that the open courts clause requires a remedy [or, for that matter, a particular remedy] for every right....” Jonathan M. Hoffman, By the Due Course of Law: The Origins of the Open Courts Clause of State Constitutions, 74 Or. L.Rev. 1279, 1317 (1995)."
Hm, fair enough...
"We do not minimize the trial court's concerns, which we share, regarding the importance of protecting the constitutional rights of Pennsylvania citizens that are specifically promised to each citizen under the Pennsylvania Constitution. We appreciate the difficulty in balancing the constitutional protections that are essential to our freedom."
Great! Good, good...
"Under the facts in this case, however, there is no evidence that the protection against the use of excessive force in Article I, Section 8, is broader than the Fourth Amendment. Because the same test would be applied here, to protect the same interest, under both Federal and State Constitutions, the protections are coextensive and Jones' right to be free from governmental use of excessive force is protected by the Federal Constitution as it would be under the Pennsylvania Constitution. Importantly, unlike in Bivens, there is no state statute which generally provides for a right to sue for this violation. There are many factors which counsel hesitation against the courts creating a new monetary remedy, where a remedy already exists, without benefit of legislative action."
Wait, what? What? If Pa. protects a right ON ITS OWN and the US Constitution JUST SO HAPPENS to have it, 'screw you'? Is this like when police commit crimes and the DA says 'well this should be a civil suit, you know, because well they're police and you're the only injured party here...'

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Permit to carry gun in neighborhood in Philly RugerGirl 5 1,031 01-08-2016, 11:07 PM
Last Post: Internet troll
  heeding gods call at it again in Philly thefirstndsecond 2 955 04-25-2015, 12:56 PM
Last Post: soberbyker

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Software by MyBB, © 2002-2015 MyBB Group.
Template by Modogodo Design.