The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

In 1920, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. the United States. This case was to overturn the judgment of the District Court of the Western State of New York, which had made a judgment against the plaintiff based on secondary evidence. This secondary evidence had been gathered based on earlier evidence which had been gathered unlawfully; that is, in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court overturned the earlier judgement, establishing a judicial precedent known as “The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine.” This title comes from the Book of Matthew 7:17-20, “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

The idea is this: if evidence is gained in an illegal way (in this case, in violation of rights affirmed by the Fourth Amendment), then anything gained from that evidence is ALSO in violation of the law, and inadmissible. I bring this up because, as I am typing this, I am listening to politicians and pundits talk about how public opinion will change on the new health-insurance regulation legislation as people begin to see the “benefits” coming to them. These so-called benefits are nothing but “fruits of the poisonous tree,” in the most certain definition of the term: the bill itself is a direct violation of the Tenth Amendment; therefore, nothing associated with it can be considered a “benefit.” At best, they are bribes–paid not by the politicians who passed the legislation, but with money they have confiscated from other people’s work–to keep you a quiet subject rather than a full citizen under the Constitution.

UPDATE: Missouri has joined the joint lawsuit with 13 other States to repeal this legislation.

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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