Browsing through the RSS reader, and I came upon an apropos section of a recent DrugWarRant post that applies neatly to the libertarian objections voiced by Austin’s citizens in the stories above.

Pete is actually talking about that age old Never Consent To A Search bit of advice that seems mostly to apply in drug cases, but struck a chord with me because of my recent ramblings about the newly proposed Austin Police policy regarding .

In the ‘Austin Reacts’ post I mentioned the overwhelmingly negative public response to Acevedo’s new proposal, but of course there were also the inevitable “If you’ve got nothing to hide, why would you care about this” comments left on the KXAN story as well.

And this subject comes up in a variety of ways but with regularity when discussing criminal defense issues with the public at large. Thanks to Pete, I now have a new and improved way of explaining why that logic is so flawed:

Now the real question is, why would anyone ever consent to a search?

Sure, the canned law enforcement quip is "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about." But regular readers know my response to that:

Sometimes people say I shouldn’t mind being searched if I have nothing to hide. I immediately accuse them of having a swastika tattooed on their genitalia — if they have nothing to hide, then surely they shouldn’t mind dropping their pants to prove me wrong.

And, of course, even without that thinking the "nothing to hide" bit doesn’t make a bit of sense in consenting to a search.

Fantastic response. I can’t wait to use it the next time someone tells me I shouldn’t worry so much about the Fourth Amendment, or that the Bill of Rights is all a bunch of baloney meant to coddle criminals and doesn’t do anything for the rest of us…