Tennessee Judge Reprimanded and Sued For Policy of Forced Drug Tests Based on Courtroom “Hunches”

Tennessee General Sessions Judge Durwood Moore has a curious view of the fourth amendment and the doctrine of judicial notice. Moore is the subject of a judicial ethics complaint and lawsuit after he had an observer in his courtroom arrested and forced to do a urinalysis. Moore insisted that this is simply his routine practice when he has “a hunch.”

One such hunch in the Dickson County courthouse concerned Benjamin Marchant who was present to support a friend before Moore. He was taken into custody with no probable cause or even reasonable suspicion on the part of the judge. Moore believes that he can simply arrest on every hunch he has as what he calls the “routine policy of the court.”

Moore later admitted that he violated Marchant’s rights and was censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Judiciary Court on May 1, 2009. What is astonishing is that such a policy leads only to censor in Tennessee. The court merely ordered Moore to “never violate a person’s constitutional rights as he did to the Plaintiff.” That’s it, go forth and sin no more.

Despite his belated admission, Moore clearly had no concept of the most basic element of probable cause or the fourth amendment. He will be allowed to continue to rule in cases despite his total lack of either understanding or acceptance of basic constitutional principles.

Marchant is suing the officers and the judge for good reason. Perhaps liability will offer a need of deterrence in light of the failure of the judges to police themselves.

For the story, click here and here.

19 thoughts on “Tennessee Judge Reprimanded and Sued For Policy of Forced Drug Tests Based on Courtroom “Hunches””

  1. One thing about Presidential Candidates is certain.

    They all want the job and are prepared to spent millions trying to persuade us that they are right for the job.

    I would rather that the best person for the job is one who does NOT want it.

    That would be a first…. well, no it wouldn’t. The first was George Washngton. Sadly, he was also the last.

  2. RE name-came from a former job classification. The only time I lost any teeth was prior to getting braces but thanks for asking.

    RE Obama. I thought he had a hitch with his license but I’m too lazy to google right now.

    Also, saying boys is kind of sexist-don’t you think? I’m kind of partial to Marcia Blackburn myself.

    I like your classification: President is definitly capitol “I”diot. Congress and senate small “i”diots. Obama is all about the big “I” anyway so it’s no wonder he had such a quick transition.

    So I guess when I agree with you I have to say aye AY lol?

  3. Pinandpuller,

    Nice name. Do you use anything before you have your teeth extracted? First, Obama is still a Lawyer/Attorney/Counselor. Second, How can you tell if a Politician is lying/ Oh yeah his lips are moving. That means your boys lie too. Idiot, hell yes, anyone wanting to be the President is an Idiot. Don’t you agree?

  4. @ TomDArch

    Don’t forget that President Obama is a former lawyer and a current liar and idiot.

  5. “Tennessee – America at Its Best” is the state slogan, I believe.

    (Thanks for the verse, Elaine M.)

  6. AY,

    You should move to Hollywood, son! There’s a career waiting for you with show ideas like that. It’d be at FOX, but hey, it’d be in show business.

  7. On a hunch, the judge should be impeached for bad behavior.

    I’d like to see a COPS type show on TV that films judges like they film suspects. Another good show might be something like Can That Cop, or Dump That D.A.

    There should be a website with the sole purpose of gathering evidence for recommending the impeachment of judges.

  8. By George,

    That is good. Not surprising at all. I presume they have TV in AZ? If so, maybe they can watch Law and Order or maybe even one show on USA White Collar. He’d probably get more information than whats even in his procedure book.

  9. The 4th Amendment? I wish this blog would stop bringing up such foolish technicalities when some nice people like this judge are trying to get the bad guys — even if they’re minding their own business, sitting quietly. 😉

    PS. Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio says in a deposition that he isn’t that “well versed on the 4th Amendment,” and in fact he says he leaves it up to his “legal team to deal with those intricacies.” He also says he hasn’t read his own book! Here’s the link: http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/01/04/20100104arpaio-deposition0104-ON.html?&wired

  10. Don’t forget that Rep. Joe “You Lie! and I’m an Idiot” Wilson is a former municipal judge…

  11. The judge and the police officer,you know the “officer who could hear your speed”must be related:)

  12. What do you call an Attorney with an IQ of 50?

    Your Honor.

    This proves the point. It is real hard sometimes to distinguish the Prosecutor from the Judge or is that Judge from the Prosecutor? Sometimes they are one in the same.

  13. You know, I always wondered why Endora (played by the wonderful Agnes Moorehead) called Darrin “Durwood” like it was an insult.

    She must have known this clown.

    Does he even have a law degree?

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