I call this story, "Santa Claus and His Numerous Violations of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution."
You all know the song "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake..."
Unfortuantely for Santa Claus, acting as he does in a quasi-state capacity as the leader of a sovereign territory, (and his involvement in nuclear disarmament activities), his warrantless searching of children's bedrooms not only represent nearly an a priori violation of Fourth Amendment protections against such intrusion, but at least in the state of California, there are several Penal Code sections that specifically prohibit non-guardian adults from gathering information about children (c.f. PC §637.9).
To begin, the act of such intrusion is itself prohibited, but then this allegedly jolly old elf uses evidence gathered without probable cause in this illegal fashion to pronounce summary judgment (we'll get to due process in a minute) in violation of the "fruit of the poisoned tree" doctrine in the exclusionary rule.
But even if he met the hurdles of fourth amendment jurisprudence for his no-knock entries of houses without any judicial oversight, he clearly runs afoul of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
For instance, in the case of Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) Justice Douglas writes for the majority:
"The Fifth Amendment in its Self-Incrimination Clause enables the citizen to create a zone of privacy which government may not force him to surrender to his detriment."
And since we deem Santa to be acting in at least a quasi state actor role, we feel his activities are covered by the Fifth's protections of a "zone of privacy." And to reiterate, in the state of California, the penal code is especially protective of children given their status as the most vulnerable in our society to abuse and harm.
But let's pretend for the moment that the exigencies of the fourth and fifth amendments are met. Easily the most severe violations of constitutional rights are Santa's blanket disregard for due process as protected by the Sixth Amendment.
I don't even know where to start with this one. I mean, starting from his inability to prove-up his apparently self-appointed jurisdiction over all the children (who I might add, are still considered citizens, with all rights thereunto pertaining) of the United States.
Then there is the issue of judgment being pronounced on these children without any form of hearing or judicial process, much less giving children, or their parents, guardians, ad litems or other legal representatives an opportunity to make a case on their behalf.
We don't even want to go into the whole problem with his judgment being pronounced ex cathedra without any statutory authority for leaving lumps of coal in stockings (we won't even go into the CEQA rules about unregulated distribution of bisthmus coal in a residential setting...)
So from all of us here at the MojoWire: van.mojo, Dr. Strych9, Sean we wish all of you (even the asshats who come by) a very Merry Christmas.
From us ("the wishors") to you ("hereinafter called the wishee"):
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