U.S. court adds limit to police searches
Friday, March 24, 2006
The Supreme Court recently ruled that police cannot search a home when one resident invites them in but another tells them to go away.
The 5–3 decision puts new limits on officers who want to search for evidence of a crime without obtaining a warrant first. If one occupant tells them no, the search is unconstitutional, justices said.
wrote his first dissent, predicting severe consequences for women who want police to come in but are overruled by abusive husbands.
The decision ended a trend of rulings by the court. About two-thirds of the 30 rulings under the leadership of Roberts have been unanimous, a high number on a court that has in the past been polarized along ideological lines.
The court's liberal members, joined by centrist, said that an officer responding to a domestic dispute call did not have the authority to enter and search the home of a small-town lawyer in 2001 even though the man's wife invited him in.