Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Curtilage beats automobile exception

Everyone knows that rock crushes scissors, scissors cuts paper, and paper covers rock. And now we know that curtilage wipes the floor with the automobile exception. So said 8 out of 9 justices of the United States Supreme Court in Collins v. Virginia, decided this week. The Fourth Amendment does not permit a police officer "uninvited and without a warrant, to enter the curtilage of a home in order to search a vehicle parked therein." Put another way:

"The automobile exception does not afford the necessary lawful right of access to search a vehicle parked within a home or its curtilage because it does not justify an intrusion on a person’s separate and substantial Fourth Amendment interest in his home and curtilage."

Amen.

p.s. Justice Thomas wants to reconsider imposing the exclusionary rule on the states, and Justice Alito believes that, while "[t]he Fourth Amendment is neither an 'ass' nor an 'idiot,'" the majority's opinion in Collins is both.

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