In an ordinance that has yet to be fully considered, a county in Oregon may soon debate a proposal that would allow police officers to search people’s coolers for alcohol without probable cause. Alcohol is prohibited by law in Clackamas County parks without a permit, according to the local Fox affiliate KPTV.
In other words, the county may soon consider a proposal to remove 4th amendment rights from park visitors. The 4th amendment to the Constitution states, in its entirety:
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.
Random searches of coolers violates both the spirit AND the letter of the 4th amendment. Short of probable cause (visual confirmation of alcoholic consumption in violation of county ordinance), the random searching of coolers is in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States.
Will Oregon county lawmakers vote to upload the Constitution for state residents or, like many other states, vote to further restrict the constitutional rights of the American people?