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When Can Government Kick Open the Door of Your House?

Terence P. Jeffrey on

"As the garage door began to descend," said the petition, "Officer Weikert left his squad car, stuck his foot under the door to stop it from closing, and entered the garage."

The officer then discovered Lange might be responsible for more than just playing loud music and honking his horn.

"Upon entering the garage and questioning Lange, the officer observed signs of excessive intoxication, such as slurred speech," said the brief that then-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra submitted to the Supreme Court asking it not to take up this case.

Lange was given a blood test.

"Here, the Sonoma County District Attorney charged Lange with two misdemeanor violations of driving under the influence of alcohol ... and with an infraction for operating his car's sound system at an excessive level," said Becerra's brief. "Lange moved to suppress the evidence obtained after the officer entered Lange's garage, arguing that the officer had no justification to enter without a warrant."

Now, think of the hypothetical 69-year-old woman who walked her poodle without a mask. Was she a criminal?

 

On June 18, 2020, the California Department of Public Health issued a mask mandate under the authority of Gov. Gavin Newsom that said, in part: "People in California must wear face coverings when they are in the high-risk situations listed below: ... While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible."

The Los Angeles Times reported then: "Under state law, residents who violate the new requirement could be charged with a misdemeanor and potentially face a financial penalty, according to a representative for the Newsom administration."

On Nov. 16, 2020, the Newsom administration published an updated -- and somewhat stricter -- mandate.

"People in California must wear face coverings when they are outside of the home, unless one of the exemptions below applies," said the November update.

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