Does Texas Senator Tommy Williams Want to Scrap the 4th Amendment?

March 29, 2011 10:11 am 11 comments

From Sen. Williams Official Texas Website

In a bill being brought forward in the Texas Senate for testimony this week, The Woodlands State Senator Tommy Williams seeks to attack your 4th Amendment rights with a bill that calls for police checkpoints for proof of insurance. Sorry Senator, this is a bad idea. I am all for enforcement of the law. Especially the law requiring drivers to carry insurance on their motor vehicles and to provide proof of this insurance at appropriate times. However, police checkpoints for the purpose of making citizens prove they are not breaking the law is a bad idea and is unconstitutional.

SB 1700 will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday, March 30 in Rm. E1.016.

The 4th Amendment states, “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.

SB 1700 states, “The department may establish a program for the purpose of establishing checkpoints to ensure that operators of motor vehicles in this state are not in violation of Section 521.021, 522.011, or 601.051.” (requirement to carry liability insurance)

We do not allow the police or any government agency to require you to prove you are innocent of a crime. Rather, our system of justice is based on the premise that the government must have reasonable suspicion you are breaking the law and must then prove beyond reasonable doubt that, in fact, you are guilty.

This bill gives the police the right to assume you are guilty and force you to prove you are innocent. What is next? Prove you are not beating your dog? Prove you did not steal the digital camera you have in your car?

This law is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment and must be stopped. Contact your state senator and demand this bill not be let out of committee, or if it is, that it be killed on the Senate floor.

Sen. Williams, we sent you to Austin to guard our liberties, not trample them. If you want to increase the penalty for people who are violating the requirement to carry insurance law, that is fine. If you want to impound the vehicles of people who do not have insurance, that is fine. But don’t make law abiding citizens prove they are innocent.

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  • Unbelievable. This is the party of limited government and individual liberty?

  • The Part does stand for imited government and individual liberty? but thus guy does not…

    We have work to do, we also have some in the House that want to find ways to bring more revenue in to the state by taking it from we the people….But they say they are closing loopholes not raising taxes….OK, but they still are taking from the governed and giving to the government..

    No matter what you call it when you take money to feed government you are for bigger government…When you take liberty you are also for taking away freedom…

    • Unfortunately, Dan Patrick did a similar trick last time by pushing the bill to allow random stops to check for drunk drivers.

      • Although i agree drunk driving is a BOG problem and i have NO sympathy for those who drive while drunk we can not jut stop everyone and assume they are drunk. Thats like Hitler stopping everyone and asking for papers.

        We can have a greater impact on the drunk driving enforcing currant laws and taking a stronger stand. Many Judges and others do not stand strong against drunk driving. I hear our DA Pat Lykos is very weak on drunks that drive.

        We hear often about offenders that kill people and they have multiple offences and my first thought is why where thy driving?

        Look with the drunks one offend hit them hard 2nd take away there driving privileges and 3rd through them in jail. We treat drunks to well…

  • I wish that our elected representatives would stop trying to legislate us to death. They would probably be better served to spend several sessions phasing out all the legislative garbage they’ve passed over the last century.

  • Larry Youngblood

    The two issues “Insurance and Drunk Drivers” I hope will help clarify when folks dialog what the term “unreasonable” means. Houston/Harris County has a huge, deadly problem with drunk drivers.

    Since my daughter has been crashed twice now by illegal aliens with no license and no insurance, I understand the frustration but even for me, this bill is “unreasonable”.

    The problem is the Tomball police department (and others ) told her…that “the DA really did not like the cases ’cause you never really know who they are or if the address is real, and they don’t show up for court and you have to look for them and spending so much money trying to find them…so please don’t file charges.”

    Drunk and no license or insurance, throw the book.

    • Gerald Keith Simpson

      Larry, If they are DRUNK, NO LICENSE, OR NO INSURANCE, they are undiscovered CRIMINALS, poised to injure you or others, unintentionally, or intentionally. They are also a HUGE toll on our State economy, in so many ways. Maybe on 2nd conviction, they could be sentenced to full time,low pay public service jobs, for an appropriate period of time. 3rd conviction, hard labor. A drunk first wrecks his own family. Then gets in a car while intoxicated and wrecks yours. Oficers should be encouraged to stop more of them and not less. No license, and not one to contact to bring them valid i.d., tells you they are guilty of a crime already, and they should be incarcerated, until they can positively identify themselves. That is a law for a very valid reason! They are hiding their criminality!
      IF they cannot show valid i.d. or contact someone to bring their existing i.d., they should be IMMEDIATELY taken to the station, and FINGER PRINTED!

    • The police, I know for a fact in Tomball, since it is a sanctuary city, won’t write many of them tickets because they know that the chances of them showing up in court is slim to none, and they don’t want the warrants piling up that they cannot close. They don’t know who these people are. They call them no-gotties because the no got insurance, liscense, or anything. I remember this one incident where a 16 year old illegal, was driving a car load of other illegals. He slammed into the back of a lady pushing her car into a pickup. If he was an American, they would have hooked him up. But since he was a wet, they let him and all the other wets go because of the very reason I stated before. The system is corrupt and so is Tomball pd, just like the rest.

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