Supreme Court Ignores 4th Amendment, OKs Some Warrantless Searches

The Supreme Court by an 8-1 vote Monday bolstered police authority to break down a door and seize drugs or other evidence of wrongdoing if officers believe it is being destroyed.

The majority upheld the forced, warrantless entry of a Lexington, Ky., apartment that occurred after police, chasing a suspected drug dealer into a breezeway, focused on an apartment unit because of the smell of marijuana and noises coming from inside. Officers kicked in the door, saying later they believed people were trying to get rid of evidence.

Only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, asserting that the majority “today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases.”

Ginsburg isn’t usually the most liberty-friendly justice, but good for her on this one.

 

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