Quote of the Day: The 4th Amendment Takes Another Hit

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From Justice Sonia Sotomayor, sighing over a likely ruling in a warrantless search case:

So there’s nothing left to Randolph. Police just remove the person.

In Georgia vs. Randolph, the Supreme Court ruled that police were not allowed to search the home of a man who stood in the doorway and objected, even though his wife gave her consent. In a case heard today, Fernandez vs. California, a robbery suspect named Walter Fernandez refused to allow police to search his apartment. They arrested him, and then came back an hour later and got permission from Fernandez’s girlfriend to conduct a search. Most of the justices seemed to think this was just fine, which is what prompted Sotomayor’s bleak remarks. Randolph really doesn’t mean anything if all the police have to do is remove you from your doorway and then come back a few minutes later. So the 4th Amendment takes yet another hit.


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