A ‘Warrantless’ Search Is Not the Same as an ‘Unreasonable’ Search
A recent Supreme Court ruling clarifies an important distinction in Fourth Amendment cases.
PJ Media: March 6, 2014
If you were to learn that the Supreme Court had handed down a decision, and all you were told about it was that the opinion had been written by Justice Alito, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Breyer joining, and that Justice Ginsburg had filed a dissenting opinion, in which she was joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, do you think you’d be inclined to approve or disapprove of the outcome? And if you were to further learn that the decision had so rankled the editors at the most liberal newspaper west of the Hudson River, the Los Angeles Times, that they took to their pages to condemn it, would your inclination be altered?
Last November I wrote here on the case of Fernandez v. California, in which oral arguments had just been heard before the Supreme Court. I’m pleased to report that last week the Court, no doubt influenced by my column, ruled against Fernandez, an especially loathsome individual, upholding his conviction and the warrantless search of his apartment based on the consent of his live-in girlfriend. This is not to say the vitality of one’s constitutional rights should be in inverse proportion to one’s loathsomeness, but it’s gratifying that this petitioner, a street thug and an abuser of women, came away from the Court unsatisfied.