Supreme Court Rules Police May Search A Home Without Obtaining A Warrant

Tyler Durden's picture

If the most disturbing, if underreported, news from yesterday, was Obama's "modification" of NSA capabilities, which contrary to his earlier promises, was just granted even greater powers as phone recording will now be stored for even longer than previously, then this latest development from the Supreme Court - one which some could argue just voided the Fourth amendment - is even more shocking. RT reports that the US Supreme Court has ruled that police may search a home without obtaining a warrant despite the objection of one occupant if that occupant has been removed from the premises. With its 6 to 3 decision in Fernandez v. California on Tuesday, the Court sided with law enforcement’s ability to conduct warrantless searches after restricting police powers with its 2006 decision on a similar case.

From RT:

In 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department sought suspect Walter Fernandez, believed to have stabbed someone in a violent gang robbery. When police first arrived at the suspect’s home, they heard yelling and screaming before Fernandez’s live-in girlfriend Roxanne Rojas answered the door, appearing “freshly bruised and bloody,” and with an infant in hand, according to argument recap by SCOTUSblog.


Fernandez was spotted by police, and said, “Get out. I know my rights. You can’t come in.” Yet police arrested him on charges of domestic violence. Later, once Fernandez was out of the home, police asked Rojas for permission to conduct a search, which yielded evidence implicating Fernandez in the robbery.

Probable cause or probable loss of all civil rights?

The Court’s decision justified the police actions, with Justice Samuel Alito writing the majority’s position.


“A warrantless consent search is reasonable and thus consistent with the Fourth Amendment irrespective of the availability of a warrant,” Alito wrote. He added that “denying someone in Rojas’ position the right to allow the police to enter her home would also show disrespect for her independence.”


Alito was joined in the majority by Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas.


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – joined in the minority by Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, marking a gender divide among the Justices in the case – wrote the dissenting opinion, calling the decision a blow to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures.”


“Instead of adhering to the warrant requirement,” Ginsburg wrote, “today’s decision tells the police they may dodge it, nevermind ample time to secure the approval of a neutral magistrate.” Tuesday’s ruling, she added, “shrinks to petite size our holding in Georgia v. Randolph.”


Georgia v. Randolph was a similar case the Supreme Court addressed in 2006, in which a domestic violence suspect would not allow police to enter his home, though his wife did offer police consent. The police ultimately entered the home. The Court ruled in the case that the man’s refusal while being present in the home should have kept authorizes from entering.


A physically present inhabitant’s express refusal of consent to a police search [of his home] is dispositive as to him, regardless of the consent of a fellow occupant,” the majority ruled in that case.


In addressing Randolph in the majority opinion, Alito wrote that the difference between that case and Fernandez was the physical presence of the suspect.


“Our opinion in Randolph took great pains to emphasize that its holding was limited to situations in which the objecting occupant is physically present,” he wrote.


“We therefore refuse to extend Randolph to the very different situation in this case, where consent was provided by an abused woman well after her male partner had been removed from the apartment they shared.”


Prior to Randolph and Fernandez, the Court ruled in the 1974 case United States v. Matlock that any one of the co-tenants in a home can consent to a police search of the premises.

Well there goes the fourth amen... oh look, over there: it's another all time high in the S&P 500. On paper, those who hold stocks have never been richer. Everyone else, barricade your doors, and the police come knocking, don't even bother answering - they will come in anyway. And also prepare your guns for return to the government: that particular "constitutional" amendment is the next to go.

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jmp esp's picture

While not using a webcam may protect you from the action described in that article, it's likely not enough. The webcam of a compromised machine can quite easily be turned on, and any sort of indications that it is active, such as an LED, can quit easily be disabled. If your machine has a built in webcam, put tape over the lens. You might want to cove up the mic too, for good measure.

Divided States of America's picture

This is BS. A cop can now BREAK INTO your house...steal your money, fondle your woman, kick your dog...and then PLANT some drugs and say you are a guilty criminal and theres nothing in the law that can prove you are innocent. Fuck this, I rather go to Ukraine where at least I have my goddamn right to decide which side I want to be on.

jmp esp's picture

I think you're replying to the wrong comment, champ.

Divided States of America's picture

No newbro...i just like to put my comment as high up as possible to get maximum exposure.

jmp esp's picture

Ah, I see. Kinda fucks up the flow of the conversation, but whatever.

Divided States of America's picture

its will learn the rules of fight club pretty quickly I think. Cut him some slack.

jmp esp's picture

Actually, I've learned that you guys don't understand how threads work. Your rationale is easy to grasp, but the outcome? Sloppy, unstructured conversation involving a bunch of attention whores yearning for the top spot.

Welcome to Internet Slapfight Club BITCH

Ignatius's picture

He's been here all of 3 weeks!

Hmm, what might that mean?

jmp esp's picture

If you're implying that I'm some kind of police/spook--as others have already done--they've already outwitted you. Anything electronic can be tampered with. They have the keys to the kingdom; they can be anyone on ZH with any regdate. If they please, they can seize control of ZH in its entirety without you having any fucking clue. If you think your enemy is stupid, take the time to ponder the engineering effort that went into constructing the electronic surveillance state. They are anything but.

Ignatius's picture

Anything else or have you shot your whole load?

Nothin' new about your 'revelations' here, mate.

jmp esp's picture

Strange, because a lot of the chatter I see is demonstrably ignorant.

Cleveland Steamer's picture

I'm sure everyone will jump through hoops just to impress you. 

jmp esp's picture

It's not about jumping through hoops, it's about ending misinformation.

First post of the thread: "turn of your webcams"

There ya go, demonstrably bad advice.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Why are you posting numerous replies to a thread you consider irrelevant?

jmp esp's picture

Hmm? Maybe I came unhinged and said something I didn't mean, or typoed something. Dispelling misinformation is important, even if it means being "that guy".

LetThemEatRand's picture

Doesn't being "that guy" just add to the distraction and misinformation you say you want to dispel in this context?

philipat's picture

I see. So the MO now is to arrest the person who says no, then remove him/her from the scene, then enter. Cute.

Johnny Cocknballs's picture

Arrest them for what, though?  Saying no?


SafelyGraze's picture

this story reminds me of that old knock-knock joke

Knock knock!

Who's there?

Open the fucking door or we'll kill you!

FEDbuster's picture

"And also prepare your guns for return to the government: that particular "constitutional" amendment is the next to go."

Mine are "prepared", molon labe.  Keep a close eye on CT.  Looks like the first shot will be fired there.  They can't say they didn't see it coming:

Mr. Crisp's picture

What was that article the other day about gov't agencies creating trolls?

Well, it looks like they sent out a new one.

Gief Gold Plox's picture

Warrant-less searches. And so, finally, the circle is complete.

Can't imagine why "the land of the free" keeps playing in my head. Must be insomnia or some other mental disorder. Oh, well.

jmp esp's picture

What's the alternative? Let bad advice fester, unopposed at the top of this page?

LetThemEatRand's picture

What bad advice was festering that you fixed in the last 10 or so posts?

James_Cole's picture

Ten? The guy has got almost 100 logged today. Trolling to the next level.

Bananamerican's picture


Oh shit....I smell an IT "genius" in the house

Double.Eagle.Gold's picture

Fuck you jmp, please go ahead and jump.

Harbanger's picture

I don't even care what your point was.  Fuck Lola and the whore that bore her.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Your cunt whore mother says hi.  Jinx. 

Tall Tom's picture

What is strange is that I see your failed attempt at hijacking a thread. This thread is ABOUT WARRANTLESS SEARCHES and not about the NSA looking at people through their webcams. Divided States was correct to ignore your hijack attempt and post relevant information.


Welcome to Fight Club BITCH. You sure are a whiny little Bitch...Hard Rock? When you going to Vegas next?

jmp esp's picture

Did you gloss over the first post? And Vegas? Not my style. You're more likely to find me in the mountains of the PNW.

Uncle Sugar's picture

Are you related to Fonestar by chance?

Tall Tom's picture

Good.I have a place up near Portland, Oregon. Perhaps we shall go hunting sometime. Do you like hunting?

Lore's picture

A blog entry with clear presentation and justification of ideas might serve to sideline much of the feather-fluffing and other interruptions...

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

8th RULE of Fight Club: If this is your first night at FIGHT CLUB, you HAVE to fight.

Abi Normal's picture

Damn right, and I know and have felt the fight, right bitches!!!  That is why I like fight club so much...pretty smart place to be, unless one is a govt shill or proglodite!

Papasmurf's picture

Perhaps they already have.  Maybe that's why Marla, Cheeky bastard et al are absent.

Divided States of America's picture

Hey bro, 3 choices.

-Suck it up like a man and learn the rules of the game (feel free to break up my structure next time, every man or woman for themselves here)

-Keep whining like a pussy and lose respect here (as indicated by your many down arrows - none from me)


I let you decide.

Divided States of America's picture

dude, i dont want to continue this drivel but i can tell you the only thing i'm mad about is the direction of where this country is heading.

Abi Normal's picture

Heading, we are there...the POLICE STATE!  Patriot Act, NDAA, lots of others, and now this...we are living a cluster fuck!

jbvtme's picture

throw in a dose of chemtrails, fukushima and some custom government issue geo storms...

detached.amusement's picture

had to down ya for the ignorance of what conditions water becomes vapor in the atmosphere

HyBrasilian's picture

@Divided States


I'm as pissed as you are...


But I think the dude in the FOTO was really just, like SERIOUSLY, 'JONZEIN' 4 some donuts...


Divided States of America's picture

I am peeving mad, more so everyday HyB.

Btw, the photo looks like the cop dude already spotted donuts on the table inside some room but is making sure no one is around to see him before he chomps all of them down for himself.