The Daily Signal – This week, the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment does not permit a police officer to enter uninvited onto someone’s driveway to search a parked vehicle, without first obtaining a warrant.
That’s an important ruling, since no one wants police officers roaming across their private property searching for evidence of a crime. But Justice Clarence Thomas raised another important issue in a concurring opinion: In that scenario, what remedy should there be against the officer’s unlawful behavior?
Thomas proposed an answer that bucks Supreme Court precedent, but holds true to the original meaning of the Constitution.
The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and generally requires police to obtain a warrant before searching or seizing someone’s property. The Supreme Court has recognized several exceptions to the warrant requirement, however, including for automobiles—since they can be driven off at a moment’s notice, and are subject to manifold regulations, courts will allow police to search vehicles based on probable cause that a crime has occurred without first obtaining a warrant.
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