The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against law enforcement today over their request for warrantless entry into someone’s home and subsequent seizure. Biden’s DOJ wasn’t a party in the lawsuit, but had filed an amicus brief supporting law enforcement’s request:
FORBES – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that law enforcement cannot legally enter homes without a warrant even in cases where doing so may benefit the public interest, striking down the suggestion from law enforcement and the Biden administration that doing so under a “community caretaking” exception would be justified.
The case, Caniglia v. Strom, considered whether police acted lawfully by entering a man’s home and removing his firearms without a warrant after he had expressed thoughts of suicide and was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
Police entered the home under a “community caretaking” exception that allows entry in cases where doing so benefits the public interest, which has traditionally applied to incidents regarding vehicles but not in homes.
That exception had been favored by the law enforcement in the case and also the Biden administration, whose Justice Department said in an amicus brief that police should be able to enter homes without a warrant in cases that are “objectively grounded in a non-investigatory public interest, such as health or safety.”
The court ruled that the exception could not be extended to the home without violating the Fourth Amendment, overturning two lower courts that sided with the police officers and their argument that the amendment “does not prohibit law enforcement officers from diffusing a volatile situation in a home to protect the residents or others.”
“What is reasonable for vehicles is different from what is reasonable for homes,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his opinion for the court, noting that the previous standard that allowed the “community caretaking” exception was not “a standalone doctrine that justifies warrantless searches and seizures in the home.”
The court’s decision does not affect police officers’ ability to take “reasonable steps to assist those who are inside a home and in need of aid” that are protected under a separate “exigent circumstances” doctrine, Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted in a concurring opinion, such as when an elderly person has fallen or to prevent a potential suicide.
As a reminder, this is what the fourth amendment says: 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.
The fact that the Supreme Court upheld the fourth amendment unanimously just shows you how radical the Biden DOJ is in supporting these kinds of warrantless seizures. And you know that would have been the tip of the iceberg if the high court had upheld this, as more and more stuff would be justified by this “community caretaking”.
This is a good day for America.