Two Important 4th Amendment Cases Upcoming for the Supreme Court

Two cases involving drug dogs are on the Supreme Court docket which could either further shred the 4th Amendment or help in reestablishing some of its safeguards to American citizens.  The 4th Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure.  Mainly thanks to the war on drugs, the 4th Amendment has been shredded beyond recognition by the courts.  The police basically act as if it no longer exists.

Florida V. Jardines concerns the police bringing a drug dog up to the front door of a single family private residence to check for illegal activity, without a warrant.  This is basically a pretty cut and dry case.  Either you see it as the police being free to go wherever the public can go, or you see it as the police using the dog to conduct an illegal search of the private residence.  Precedent is mixed in this case and the court could go either way.

Florida V. Harris is probably the more important case, concerning whether an alert by a trained drug dog is sufficient probable cause to search a vehicle.  Recent studies have raised serious question into the accuracy of drug dogs. If 7 of 8 drug dogs give false positives during a double blind trial, is it reasonable to claim their alerts are always probable cause?

Ed Brayton over at Dispatches from the Culture War has a post looking at these cases, and there is a preview of both over at The Volokh Conspiracy.  Just a few cases to keep your eye on.

And yes, Obama is a joke on 4th Amendment issues.

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