Supremes to Victims of Wrong House Searches: Deal With It

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the police can break into your home, rouse you from sleep, hold you naked at gunpoint, and—even if you're completely innocent—you have no recourse, so long as the warrant was valid.

It was an 8-1 decision.

"Valid warrants will issue to search the innocent and people like Rettele and Sadler unfortunately bear the cost," the justices said in the unsigned opinion. "The resulting frustration, embarrassment and humiliation may be real, as was true here. When officers execute a valid warrant and act in a reasonable manner to protect themselves from harm, however, the 4th Amendment is not violated," the court concluded.

The police apparently didn't know that the suspects they were after no longer lived at the residence, and didn't bother to check to see that the house had been recently purchased by new owners several months earlier.  The new owners were white.  The suspects the police were looking for were black. And they were wanted not on charges related to violent crime, but for identity fraud.

The Hudson case basically gave police carte blanche to violate the knock-and-announce rule without having to worry about application of the exclusionary rule. This case says that innocent civilians should have to bear the humiliating, terrifying, and possibly dangerous costs of mistakes made by agents of the state. It's a horrible ruling.

This case wasn't a forced-entry raid; the couple's son let the police into the home. But given the wording of the opinion and the 8-1 vote, it will almost certainly encourage city and state governments to fight suits stemming from wrong door raids in the future, instead of settling with victims.

Neither ruling is consistent with a society that allegedly values individual rights, even without the express protections offered by the Fourth Amendment. This ruling in particular evokes Justice Scalia's flp aside in Hudson that the only purpose of requiring the police to give notice is to avoid the harm of "being seen in one's night clothes." That the Supreme Court can continue to issue rulings like this one in spite of the Fourth Amendment shows that the Castle Doctrine, freedom from unreasonable search, and privacy in general are all but dead in this country.

Seems to me, not only should the state not be given immunity, the legal principle of res ipsa loquitur ought to apply in these cases. I can't think of a more unreasonable search than for an innocent couple to be startled from sleep by armed men, then forced to stand naked in front of them while the police rifle through their belongings, trying to figure out if they got the right house. That, by definition, ought to be unreasonable. And the victims should be compensated. Both because they were genuinely harmed, and and as a deterrent to encourage the police to practice due diligence in future searches.

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  • ||

    I can't even think of a stupid, snarky, sarcastic line. This is just disgusting.

    Here's a link to the story that doesn't require registration in the Baltimore Sun

  • Chucklehead||

    I think the title is a bit misleading, no? How can it be a "wrong house search" if the warrant is valid?

    Unfortunately, I'm blocked from the LAT link, so I can't see the article. So I could be completely wrong.

  • Blind Justice||

    "In the bedroom, they ordered Rettele and Sadler to get up and to show their hands. The couple protested they were not wearing clothes, but the officers insisted they stand naked next to the bed for a minute or two.

    "After a few minutes, the deputies admitted they had made a mistake, apologized and left."

    How else could they have known the couple wasn't black? Be reasonable!

  • ||

    Volokh Conspiracy has a somewhat fuller description of the case and some interesting back-and-forth in the comments.

  • ||

    SON OF A BITCH!
    God I hate you guys

    Screw you guys, I'm going home.

  • ||

    This ruling is good for law students. See, Criminal Procedure can be a tough class, and taking out the Fourth Amendment should make it much easier.

  • Chucklehead||

    After reading the Baltimore Sun article and perusing Volokh's blog, it still doesn't seem all that terrible to me.

  • Christopher Monnier||

    Who's the Founder that feared that a defined Bill of Rights would ultimately limit our freedoms to those explicitly outlined in the Bill of Rights? He's been vindicated...

  • ||

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. You got something to hide, Balko? If not, you should be happy, indeed privileged, to live in a society that cares so much about your safety it is willing to conduct midnight searches of your bedrooms. The only people that should be upset by this is terrorists.

  • ||

    The new owners were white. The suspects the police were looking for were black. And they were wanted not on charges related to violent crime, but for identity fraud.

    Now thats fucking identity theft!

  • ||

    "The new owners were white. The suspects the police were looking for were black. And they were wanted not on charges related to violent crime, but for identity fraud."

    Boy...These guys are goooooooooood

  • Carl||

    Hamilton was against a bill of rights for those reasons. The 9th amendment was supposed to be an outlet for those sentiments. Unfortunately courts being courts have refused to acknowledge unenumerated rights. They're all just "penumbras and emanations...". Fuckers.

  • ||

    It sounds like, from the analysis at Volokh, that the argument was whether the search itself was "res ipsa loquitor" "unnecessarily painful" and "degrading." (actually Radley, this would be more of an example negligence per se because "res ipsa" is for situations where nobody saw the way the actual act went down but "the thing speaks for itself" like when a doctor reattaches a limb at the wrong place and the patient, obviously couldn't witness it. here there were plenty of witnesses.) It doesn't seem like the holding says anything about whether you could sue if preparation for the raid was negligent. Maybe Radley was saying that the preparation was negligent, res ipsa loquitor, but I can't tell whether the plaintiffs even argued that. Anyway here's hoping that this is just a narrower holding saying what cops are required to do once they're on a "valid raid" rather than what the cops are required to do to prepare for the raid.

  • ||

    Why no mention of which one justice got it right?

    It was David Souter.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Part of the problem in this case is the homeowners specifically chose not to challenge the validity of the search warrant itself. If we accept as fact that the warrant was valid (which we must for the purposes of the case as both parties agreed it was), it's not clear how the cops could have behaved differently.

    The real issue is that the police failed to do a proper investigation (e.g. doing a title search) before getting the warrant, and had the couple challenged on that ground they would have had a stronger case.

  • J||

    7.62X39 in a 30 round mag would make them think twice about doing it again.....

  • ||

    Don't you hate that word "reasonable?" And don't you really really hate that stupid, obtuse ivy league fucktards like these who have no semblance of touch of reality get to decide what "reasonable" for us little folk?

  • ||

    "The Hudson case basically gave police carte blanche to violate the knock-and-announce rule without having to worry about application of the exclusionary rule. This case says that innocent civilians should have to bear the humiliating, terrifying, and possibly dangerous costs of mistakes made by agents of the state. It's a horrible ruling."

    Radley-

    A minor nit to pick.

    Cops ARE civilians. Of course, the fact that cops now refer to their fellow citizens as "civilians" is yet one more small highlight of the militarization of the police both in mentality and equipment.

  • ||

    "This ruling in particular evokes Justice Scalia's flp aside in Hudson that the only purpose of requiring the police to give notice is to avoid the harm of "being seen in one's night clothes."

    What are the odds that Scalia will change his opinion when the cops boot down the wrong door, and are met with a hail of gunfire from a home owner with a rifle?

  • Christopher Monnier||

    > Hamilton was against a bill of rights for those reasons.

    Ahhh, that's who it was. Thanks.

  • ||

    Here we go again... more sloppy reasoning.

    First, this: "the police can break into your home, rouse you from sleep, hold you naked at gunpoint,..."

    Nobody told the residents to get naked... they already were naked by their own choice. And being held at gunpoint is part-and-parcel of being arrested. That they were naked at the time is entirely irrelevant.

    and then: "I can't think of a more unreasonable search than for an innocent couple to be startled from sleep by armed men"

    What's so unreasonable about innocent people being arrested? In case you forgot, EVERYONE is innocent at the time of arrest. Guilt is determined by the courts, not the police.

    and finally: "And they were wanted not on charges related to violent crime, but for identity fraud."

    Are you implying that perpetrators of identity fraud shouldn't be arrested? The arresting officers didn't enter by force, they didn't hurt anyone, and when they realized their mistake they apologized and left.

    Sounds to me like the police went about doing their jobs exactly as they were required to until it became clear that it was a "black and white" case of mistaken identity.

    Oh wait, then there's this one from Stormy Dragon:
    "The real issue is that the police failed to do a proper investigation (e.g. doing a title search) before getting the warrant,"

    Think this one through for a moment Stormy... Imagine you're seeking a warrant to arrest the inhabitants of a particular residence on charges of... identity fraud. Would you have honestly been the least bit surprised or deterred if the property title showed up under a different name?

  • ||

    Russ R = Dan T.?

  • ||

    This does seem qualitatively different from the other cases brought on here. The cops knocked, came in, didn't know who was in the house...even had they gotten an updated title that wouldn't have proven that the new owners weren't somehow in collusion with the old ones...

    Being naked for a couple of minutes is simply a lesser suffering than having your door battered in and being shot.

  • ||

    Well, look at it this way. The victims are white, so at least the police are making progress.

  • ||

    mediageek:

    False.

  • Xrlq||

    I'm not sure whether this particular search was or wasn't reasonable. As others have noted, the fact (assuming it is a fact) that the recorded title to the house wasn't in the suspects' name is hardly dispositive; they were suspected identity thieves, for chrissake. Nor does the fact that they happened to be naked at the time the cops arrived - should all suspects get a pass that way? As to the fact that they were the wrong race, I guess that matters if the original suspects were strongly believed to have acted alone and not as part of a larger ring, but given the prevalance of fraud rings, and the relative dearth of fraud rings that are exclusive as to race, that seems like a bit of a stretch, as well.

    Radley's main issue appears to be with the fact that the couple was in fact innocent. Sorry, but the Fourth Amendment doesn't protect against that. To argue, in effect, that an otherwise reasonable search is per se unreasonable because the target of the search turned out to be innocent is every bit as irrational, and for exactly the same reason, as arguing that an otherwise unreasonable search is per se reasonable because the target of the search turned out to be guilty.

    As others have noted already, this discussion has nothign to do with the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. It does, however, have something to do with another legal doctrine, damnum absque injuria, which translates literally into "damage without injury," or roughly as "too damned bad." You can't recover for everything bad that happens to you. You can only recover when you can show that the other guy did something bad.

  • ||

    Also:

    Why use a SWAT Team, at o'dark-thirty to apprehend suspected identity thieves?

    What are they going to do? Flush the hard drives, credit cards, and other falsified ID information down the toilet?

  • Jeremy||

    You can't recover for everything bad that happens to you. You can only recover when you can show that the other guy did something bad.



    But it's clear they did do something bad - they admitted their mistake, in fact. Sure, they followed "procedure", but that's not material to the fact that they goofed.

    You can follow procedure and still violate people's rights, which by definition is "harm". There's nothing about due process that guarantees police will not do stupid things, and when they do they should be held accountable.

    In fact, maybe it's this blind, unthinking adherence to "procedure" that allows cops to execute such egregious raids in the first place. If all they're worrying about is filling out paperwork so they can bust bad guys, they're not really thinking through any consequences of their actions, nor possible mistakes. They're simply filling out forms and typing shit up to lend "legitimacy" to an otherwise poorly thought-out activity.

    Balko's argument is that when you promote dynamic entry tactics in situations where they are not necessary (like "identity theft") you are more likely to make mistakes because these tactics are inherently more risky. And the fact that law enforcement consistently exercises carelessness in their pre-raid research also hurts their credibility, which in the end hurts the cops and affects their safety on the job.

  • ||

    Trying to shoehorn the doctrine of "res ipsa loquitur" into a straight 4th Amendment case is just the kind of mistake that nonlawyers make.

    As stated by previous commenters, since the complainants did not challenge the reasonableness of the warrant (nor, would I guess, could they, since the names on a deed don't always correspond directly to who is actually located on the premises), the question before the Court was whether the cops, acting on a proper search warrant, treated the inhabitants unreasonably until they realized the mistake. While what happened sucks, the police did act with proper discretion throughout the raid. They didn't search the whole house first, they didn't detain the couple for hours, and they didn't subject them to brutality or abuse. Cops are allowed to secure an area under a proper search warrant, regardless of your state of attire. Deal with it.

    Radley's making a mountain out of a molehill. This case was a lot narrower than he's making it out to be, and certainly does not portend the end of the knock-and-announce rule.

  • thoreau||

    I don't see much justification for doing the arrest the way it was done, in the middle of the night and whatnot, but I do have to agree with Russ on this point:

    Imagine you're seeking a warrant to arrest the inhabitants of a particular residence on charges of... identity fraud. Would you have honestly been the least bit surprised or deterred if the property title showed up under a different name?

    Further, if I were the cop entering the house, and I had photos of the suspects taken from their driver's licenses or something, my first thought upon seeing different faces wouldn't be "Oh, we got the wrong guys." Rather, it would be "Um, are we sure they weren't using a fake driver's license too?"

    So I can see why a case involving identity thieves would lead to more confusion and whatnot. Doesn't mean they used very good methods to do the arrest, but I can see the confusion.

    Given that this case would seem to naturally lend itself to mistakes, it doesn't seem like a good one for setting precedents. Tough cases lead to bad precedents, or so the lawyers say.

  • bubba||

    Are we really suggesting that the city coffers should be raided every time the wrong house is searched?

    Seriously?

    Where is "don't sue people Panda" when you need him?

  • ||

    Why use a SWAT Team, at o'dark-thirty to apprehend suspected identity thieves?

    Oh, come on; you know why: to ensure the safety of the officers. Because you never know when white collar criminals (or the Cubans disputing custody over Elian Gonzalez, or the investment managers at Princeton/Newport, or optometrists who like to place and take bets on football games) might suddenly pull out heaters and start wasting cops.

  • ||

    "...it's not clear how the cops could have behaved differently."

    Good grief.

    Heaven forbid the cops would stay on the front porch and wait for the "suspects" named in the warrant to present themselves. What fun is that?

  • ||

    Are we really suggesting that the city coffers should be raided every time the wrong house is searched?

    Sure. Why not? Everyone else has to pony up when they fuck up, why not law enforcement?

  • ||

    I have seen many people with PTSD. I would submit that this could be a likely result of using swat squads, or police that behave in a similar matter, to enforce identity fraud warrants, after people have gone to bed. I could, in no way, interpret this invasion as "reasonable".

    And to hell with legaleze!! It just confuses most of us more, and in my eyes, subverts justice!

    But, to those arguing for the cops, in this situation, what would it feel like if you were looking into the barrel of a 9 mm, after the beloved police force raided the wrong house. All on the basis of identity fraud?! (ever heard of accidental shootings, of unarmed victims, during such raids? [the safeties on those guns are off!]) I guess your response might become more conservative (constitutional) at that time. If the 4th amendment of the Constitution does not work, how in the world can I expect the government to behave in a manner that most of the people, in this country, respect!? They continue to destroy my confidence.

  • Gray Ghost||

    No, media, Russ R. has posted here before, and he's not Dan T.

    One problem here is that the cops wouldn't let the homeowners get dressed before conducting the search. I'm trying to figure why the police wouldn't allow them to get dressed, on a warrant to find two people.

    On a drug warrant or computer warrant, I can see the logic of needing to prevent the destuction of evidence. I think that risk is overstated by the police and used to excuse thuggish behavior, but I acknowledge the risk exists. This was a warrant to find two people. Where's the problem in knocking on the bedroom door, saying in a cop voice, "Police. Search warrant. Are you decent? If not, throw some clothes on." and giving the homeowners 45 seconds to throw a robe on? Sure, handcuff them if you need to, I can see that. Hands kill. But let them get some clothes on first. In short, treating the homeowners as citizens and not subjects.

    You can't hide two people in 45 seconds. If the home's surrounded, where are they going to run? Sure, the homeowners can grab a weapon in that time, but who's going to shoot it out over an identity theft charge? Did the people the police wanted have a history of violence? Does that even matter anymore on how a warrant is served? The Supreme Court disagrees with me, but holding naked people at gunpoint in their own home on an arrest warrant for a non-violent crime, is an unreasonable search. I don't see how that could be controversial.

    The problem most of us ordinary people have with this case is that it looks like the police feel justified in mitigating every possible risk to their safety, even minute ones, no matter the effect on the people they serve. It doesn't matter to the police if you're handcuffed naked at gunpoint. It doesn't matter if they're rude to you. It doesn't matter if your things are damaged during their search. Your goodwill means less than zero to the police, if you're not part of the ruling class. Thank you mediageek for your comment reminding us that the police are citizens as well. The idea they are not, goes some way towards explaining some of the tension between citizens and those of us we employ to serve and protect.

    Does anyone think that a warrant would be served this way on anyone politically connected in their jurisdiction? The sad thing pragmatically, not even looking at it from a civil liberties point of view, is that this is bad police work. I have police in my family as well as several family friends. Much of their effectiveness, they tell me, comes from help by "concerned citizens," tips mostly. How helpful do you think these people are going to be to the police now? Or their friends and relatives? All of which could have been defused by some good diplomatic thoughtful police work.

    Agree with the idea expressed above that the reason our 4th Amendment jurisprudence is so abstract, Kafkaesque and perverse is that judges never have to experience the sharp end of the executive branch themselves. Their houses will not be condemmed for "economic re-development" and they will not be handcuffed naked, as armed men march through their home in the morning. And until that happens, nothing will change.

    this is really too long already, but arguments about who owned the house and failure to determine how fresh the evidence for probable cause was, go to whether the warrant should have been issued in the first place. I've no idea why plaintiffs didn't attack the sufficiency of the warrant to begin with. Again, with an independent judiciary, warrants would issue on better evidence than this. I don't know how to change that.

  • ||

    My inclination is to go alone with Reason authors, but the commenters defending the ruling appear more "reasoned" in these circumstances. I think Reason is right though, when it brings up the truly outrageous deaths of innocent 80 year old women during 3 am drug raids.
    One minor point - if identity thief is the use of credit cards and such (by definition information obscuring their the purpertrators true identity and location) how useful is it to go to various addresses? Is this really about the reliability of the informant?

  • ||

    and finally: "And they were wanted not on charges related to violent crime, but for identity fraud."

    Are you implying that perpetrators of identity fraud shouldn't be arrested? The arresting officers didn't enter by force, they didn't hurt anyone, and when they realized their mistake they apologized and left


    The point is that raiding someones house in the middle if the night to serve a warrant for identity fraud is overkill. It's not a violent crime and no ones life was in imminent danger.

  • Russ 2000||

    So I can see why a case involving identity thieves would lead to more confusion and whatnot.

    And I can see "identity theft" being a tack-on to just about every warrant if it allows carte blanche to fuck up. I mean, if you're suspected of other crimes, it's probable that you were using a false identity, too.

    As usual, the police are held to a lower standard.

  • Alex Knapp||

    Let's not lose sight of the legal issue here. The issue here isn't necessarily whether the cops acted reasonably, but rather whether a jury should be allowed to find whether the cops acted reasonably.

    Given the facts as presented, it's tough to say whether the cops should be found liable. However, there is enough ambiguity here that I think that a trial decided by a jury is not unjustified.

  • wsdave||

    Could this be avoided by me placing REALLY BIG house numbers clearly visable on the front door (and well lit and glow in the dark to boot), a picture of all the members of the family with it (to prove we're white), a copy of our passports to add names to the photos, a copy of some utility bills to show that the names actually live at this address, and perhaps a big window in the door so the cops could see inside?

  • ||

    Oftentimes, these decisions can be distinguished and read as a narrow exception or minor issue, taken alone. But, taken together, these decisions are making a Swiss cheese of the Fourth Amendment protections. I'm not arguing that there should be no exceptions, but we should have a damned good reason for granting them.

  • ||

    And to hell with legaleze!! It just confuses most of us more, and in my eyes, subverts justice!


    from "A Man for All Seasons," by Robert Bolt:

    Thomas More: What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?

    This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if
    you cut them down (and you're just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?

    Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

    [I have no idea whether More actually said anything like this. And yes, I'm aware that he was probably not such a great guy.]

  • Dave W.||

    What are the odds that Scalia will change his opinion when the cops boot down the wrong door, and are met with a hail of gunfire from a home owner with a rifle?

    If the Kathryn Johnston debacle has taught us anything it is that such a homeowner will be found to have tons of coke, weed, meth, gambling and child porn in his house.

    Unless s/he is over 88 or under 5. In which case the police will have a problem.

  • Dave W.||

    To try to offer some positive suggestions for improvement:

    1. It is not clear what the "probable cause" was here. If it was just the fact that suspected identity theives once lived in the house, then that doesn't sound like "probable cause" to me. More should be required. I mean, if a little girl is kidnapped, then do police have "probable cause" to go search every house on the street? on the block? in the neighborhood? in the city? In this case, it seems like they should have had to get some better evidence that the identity theives were still there. The burden shouldn't be on the suspects to show that the police should have known it the identity theives weren't there. rather the burden should remain on police to show why they thought the identity theives were going to be there on the particular morning they chose to execute the warrant. The biggest problem with this case is that it shows just how far the standard of "probable cause" has eroded, in practice, if not in law.

    2. Now that police are doing especially humiliating and dangerous raids, there should be extraordinary justifications. When they are going to commandeer your house or apartment at gunpoint, there should not be mere probable cause, but probable cause plus. It should be a sliding scale. I don't think this is the way the law of the 4th Amendment has grown up traditionally, but this sliding scale of probable cause would be the most reasonable response to the evolving reality on the ground.

  • ||

    Individual cases might not hold up for whatever legal reasons. Is there any basis / possibility for a class-action?? Just thinking out loud here.

  • bill||

    Aren't warrants supposed to list the places to be searched and the names of people to be detained? So if they enter under a warrant to find Joe Blow and it's Mr. and Mrs. John Smith living there doesn't that make the warrant invalid?

  • Josef Stalin||

    So how does the Constitution empower us to get rid of narrow-minded, stoopid supreme court justices?

    I think it's time for a new amendment.

  • LarryA||

    Cops ARE civilians.

    Cops used to be civilians. Congress is in the process of federalizing them.

    So if they enter under a warrant to find Joe Blow and it's Mr. and Mrs. John Smith living there doesn't that make the warrant invalid?

    Nope. The warrant is permission to enter and search. It's still valid if you don't find what you're looking for. They just couldn't detain the Smiths.

  • Xrlq||

    It was an 8-1 decision.



    No, it wasn't. It was a unanimous, per curiam decision. The 8-1 split was over whether or not to grant certiorari, not on the merits of the ruling.

  • ||

    Thank GOD I live in Texas , where GW gave us back the right to bare and carry guns! Look at what happen in Waco, unreasonable entry in our homes will not be tolerated by any means!

  • ||

    author, you are an idiot. of course you shouldn't be able to have recourse if the warrant is valid. now, if they obtained the warrant incorrectly you should have plenty of recourse. but the fact is that the police will make mistakes, and they will be embarrassed about it, but we shouldn't be able to sue them over it. otherwise they wouldn't be able to do their jobs effectively. so I say get them fired for being idiots if the warrant was unjustified , but the court ruling doesn't have anything to do with that. they are assuming the warrant is just. the supreme court is smarter than you, if you are voting against all of them maybe you need to rethink your position.

  • Deus||

    At least the victims by the fact that we aren't Iran!

  • Deus||

    Oops, I made a mistake. Don't sue me.
    At least the victims will be comforted by the fact that we aren't Iran!

  • ||

    Here's hoping they all die soon.

  • ||

    There's no such thing as "stale" warrants anymore?

  • Chucklehead||

    Are people reading the same article? Where does this idea that it was a SWAT raid in "the middle of the night" come from?

    It was several deputies at 7 AM. With a valid warrant. That apologized and left within 15 minutes after knocking on the door.

    I really don't see how this is comparable to a botched SWAT raid due to unreliable intel or poor reading comprehension from cops driving to the wrong address.

  • Xrlq||

    There's no such thing as "stale" warrants anymore?



    Sure there is, but on what planet is a week-old warrant considered "stale?!" The warrant was on issued 12/11/01, and executed 12/19/01. Did you even read the friggin' opinion before weighing in?

  • Mike S||

    Russ R | May 22, 2007, 10:30am | #

    Your reasoning is sound, but have you and everyone else defending this FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE BILL OF RIGHTS FOR FUCK'S SAKE?! It's only the 4th Amendment after all. Apparently nobody cares about the Bill of Rights, because we've let this administration rip it to shreds.

  • Chucklehead||

    ... but have you and everyone else defending this FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE BILL OF RIGHTS FOR FUCK'S SAKE?! It's only the 4th Amendment after all.

    I will repeat: it was a valid warrant. And the defendants agreed it was valid by not challenging it in their lawsuit.

    Save your outrage for actual 4th Amendment violations, such as the so-called National Security Letters and the Jose Padilla case.

  • ||

    Lesson Learned: Don't sleep in the nude in case a previous tenent of your residence stole a pack of gum from the QuickieMart, SWAT may pay you an unannounced visit.

  • ||

    I blame the son. He should have known better than to invite vampires into the house.

    Interesting question of what would have been standard policy if no one had let them in - would they have broken down the door, performed the typical SWAT/military room clearing action, and then handcuffed the naked citizens for a couple hours while they get confirmation that they weren't black? Whatever the case, at least proper procedure would have been followed - no harm no foul, right?

  • Pendulum||

    Justice Souter was the dissenter.

    I wanted to mention that again because I don't think people realize that he's by far the best justice on civil liberties issues (at least at reaching the 'most just' result, if not the most textually based).

  • Xrlq||

    Pendulum, just because Radley routinely spouts off about cases he's never read, that doesn't mean that you should, too. If you had skimmed the decision, or even my prior comment, you would know that the ruling in this case was unanimous, i.e., There. Was. No. Dissenter. The only issue your cheap hero "dissented" on was the court's decision to hear the case at all.

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