On search and seizure, sometimes

Did you know the Constitution gave you, once, freedom from unreasonable
search and seizures, the government was required to get a warrant signed by judge, based on probable cause, before it could execute a search.
Then if the government actor wanted to talk to you, by the same Fourth Amendment privilege, he had to tell you, in so many words, you have the right to remain silent? Today: Because of Berguis v. Thompson, the right to be silent must be said out loud? And, in today’s world of tattered Fourth Amendment, it’s also apparently relevant to ask are we talking custodial silence? Pre-Custodial? Interrogation? Post-arrest?

Exceptions to the warrant requirement abound.

Exigent (emergency) circumstances,


Landlord authority (but only for common space areas),

Motor vehicle exceptions to the warrant requirement are legion,

including the sort where the government can pull you over, take you downtown, impound your car, keep and do an “inventory search” to make sure, (the real reason, right?) that they don’t lose your stuff

There are border exceptions,

Open field exceptions,

Abandoned property exceptions.

You can’t expect the garbage goes to the dump.

I bore witness to a hearing about a warrantless search conducted in a home, that didn’t follow any any of those exceptions. But the search was valid anyway. The DA argued the cops thought the apartment was vacant, because the garbage hadn’t been taken out
In two weeks. And no one had seen her. Thus, police acted in good faith, and got the landlord to unlock the ‘vacant’ apartment and heigh-ho, everything goes, they got what they were after.

The Fourth Amendment is basically your tired, hungry, poor Amendment.

Next time you say about the Second, “But this right is found within the Constitution! Be sure the Fourth Amendment is grumbling to herself that she is too.


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