In 2009, Walter Fernandez was arrested and his home subsequently searched in a related Los Angeles robbery. When the police arrived at his residents, his girl friend, Roxanne Rojas, opened the door with blood on her hands and shirt, a bump on her nose and crying. Fernandez, from another room, told officers that they could not enter without a warrant.
A little while later Fernandez was arrested and the police returned to the home and asked the girlfriend to let them in. She complied but later said she only consented because of police intimidation.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority of the court which ruled 6 to 3 that “when occupants of a residents disagree on whether they will admit police without a warrant, the objecting occupant must be physically present,” the Washington Post reported. “That doesn’t change if police have removed the objector,” the court added.
“An occupant who is absent due to a lawful detention or arrest stands in the same shoes as an occupant who is absent for any other reason,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote.
Dissenting, Justices Stotomayor, Ginsburg and Kagan found that the decisions was an erosion of the Fourth Amendment.
“Instead of adhering to the warrant requirement,” Ginsburg said, “today’s decision tells the police they may dodge it, never mind ample time to secure the approval of a neutral magistrate.”
The language of the Fourth is very straight forward:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
What say you? Has the majority opinion undercut the right to be secure in one's home?
Source: We Are Change