by Bill Simon
Last night’s “Legislative Boxers” had, at the end, a discussion on HB-430. Many people wrote me to tell me “That bill didn’t make it before Crossover, so it is dead.”
NO, it is not dead. The House Press office responded to a question I had about their Daily Legislative Report issued last night, and this morning it was told to me that there had been a typo in it regarding this bill.
What they did in committee on 3/18/2015 was steal a bill that was passed by the Senate before Crossover Day, on a different subject (SB-94), and amended it with the language from the original HB-430 language sponsored by Rep. Efestration into it, and now SB-94 will be the bill that goes to either House Rules for assignment to the House Floor OR, I suspect, Speaker Ralston will just stick this monstrosity on the Floor without it going through House Rules.
To summarize and correct, now: SB-94 will accomplish the following if passed by the House:
(1) it enables law enforcement to obtain SECRET Search Warrants
(2) extends probable cause to include crimes “about to be committed” according to the peace officer’s mind.
(3) expands who can apply for and issue search warrants (judges in ANY court will be able to sign warrants, not just Magistrate Judges)
(4) allows surveillance without regard to jurisdiction
(5) severely limits a defendant’s right to suppress illegally obtained evidence
(6) and officers are immune to virtually all legal restrictions on their behavior when they’re in performance of their official duties in “ferretting (sic) out offender(s) or suspected offender(s) of the law or in secretly watching an individual suspected of violating laws…”
Ladies & Gentlemen, when I wrote the phrase earlier this morning about “HB-430” alternatively being referred to as the >”Let’s shop this no-knock warrant to an untrained, ignorant-on-search-warrants, traffic-court judge to get DA Danny Porter’s search warrant against his political enemy signed if this Magistrate won’t do it!” bill, I was being sarcastic.
I didn’t know who wrote the bill at the time. Turns out, it WAS Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter who wrote and testified on this bill in a committee hearing yesterday in the House.
SO, HB-430 will likely come to the House Floor today (or some time in the next 9 legislative days) as SB-94. This bill was written by a guy who evidently hates a lot of people and wants the right to direct similarly-minded law enforcement officers to write search warrants, have ANY judge (i.e., any judge friend of any prosecutor in any jurisdiction) to sign the search warrant (no-knock or otherwise), and allow them to do anything they damn well please on the basis of “we honestly thought Person A was going to commit a crime, and, yes, it turns out we were wrong…but, because of this clause in Danny Porter’s law, we cannot be held responsible:”
Lines 634-636: “A good faith reliance on a court order or legislative authorization shall constitute a complete defense to any civil or criminal action brought under this part or under any other law.”
“Good faith.” Don’t you have to HAVE “faith” in order to have any “good faith?” DA Danny Porter, it is clear to see, has no faith in anyone, and wishes to legally get people he hates killed or their lives destroyed by using the force of state government to do so.
And…he has friends of a similar mindset as well. Did you folks know that former Douglas County DA David McDade, who was being investigated by the GBI last year, has now ended-up working in the Griffin Judicial Circuit…under DA Scott Ballard as an assistant DA? McDade and Porter are known to be VERY good friends. Guess we can safely add Scott Ballard to that Georgia Prosecutor Cabal of “F*ck the people’s rights! WE are in charge of their miserable little lives, and what we say goes!”
And you folks in the Republican Party who scream about Barack Obama and the Democrats…clearly, there is something rotten in the minds of the Republican Party to produce this type of bill.