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Does the Supreme Court’s ruling on a warrantless search undermine the Fourth Amendment?

If the police showed up at your doorstep today, would you know your rights?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you against unreasonable search and seizure – meaning you don’t have to let officers inside your home, unless they have a warrant. This was intended to preserve the home as an individual’s private space, and to keep law enforcement from overstepping its bounds.

The Fourth Amendment says that “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” This means that, from your local police force all the way up to the FBI, if authorities suspect wrongdoing or illegal activity is happening behind closed doors, they must obtain a warrant to enter. Police must convince a judge that there is probable cause for a search warrant. As a general rule, they can’t just barge in. But there are exceptions.

For example, if police suspect an emergency situation inside – if they hear screams or a violent commotion – they can enter a home without a warrant. If a fleeing criminal suspect enters a building, pursuing officers don’t need a warrant to follow the suspect.

This week, the Supreme Court gave law enforcement even more leeway, ruling 8-1 in Kentucky v. King that police can enter a home without a warrant if they suspect evidence of a crime is being destroyed.

The case involved officers chasing a suspected drug dealer, who fled into an apartment complex. They followed him, but did not know which apartment he entered. They smelled marijuana coming from one unit, knocked on its door and announced themselves as police. When they heard movement and a flushing toilet inside, but nobody let them in, the officers feared their suspect was destroying evidence, so they broke in.

Turns out that they had the wrong apartment – but they arrested the occupant, Hollis King, for possession of marijuana and cocaine.

The Supreme Court justices resoundingly agreed that the police were in the right. In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “Occupants who choose not to stand on their constitutional rights but instead elect to attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame for the warrantless … search that may ensue.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the only member of the Supreme Court who disagreed; she wrote in her dissenting opinion that the ruling gives police an easy way to ignore the Fourth Amendment, by claiming to smell or hear something.

“In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, nevermind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant,” Ginsburg wrote. “How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and … forcibly enter?”

At the same time, critics point out, it’s not as if police now have the authority to roam the streets, breaking down doors willy-nilly and invading the homes of innocent citizens. Officers still need probable cause to justify acting without a warrant. And for the Supreme Court, in the circumstances of the King case, pursuit of a suspected drug dealer, the smell of marijuana and the sound of a commotion added up to probable cause.

What do you think?

Does the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kentucky v King undermine the Fourth Amendment? Should police be allowed to break into homes if they smell drugs or suspect evidence is being destroyed? Or should they still take the time to get a warrant? Do you think the Kentucky officers had probable cause to break into King’s house? Does it matter that King is not the person they were chasing? Join the discussion!
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Comments
10/28/2011
Watertown MA
Mitchell
Mr.Rimas Watertown Highschool
The ruling by the Supreme Court in the Kentucky v King case does not undermine the Fourth Amendment. If police did not have the ability to enter without a search warrant murderers and dealers could escape police with ease. Being able to enter helps protect innocent citizens from danger. If the defendant had not have illegal substances or try to flush them he would have been able to remain untouched and left alone. The defendant only has himself to blame and deserves his punishment.

5/25/2011
Irving/TX
Baldemar M
Bradley/Nimitz
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, does have a good point that the government has no right to ignore the fourth and ninth amendment, but the criminal also could have gotten away with his actions. The only fare ordeal to the courts decision was performed just right by vote even if it overthrows two amendments that are part of the bill of rights. If a officer does know that a suspect is destroying evidence he should have the right to enter his home to arrest a criminal that their actions/crime conviction has been proven true by police officials. The fact that the criminal was found guilty helps set a example of how crime such as this slip away from the police but as humans people must come to exceptions that there are some measures the government must take to take down criminals.

5/24/2011
Irving/Texas
Christian Castillo
Bradley
I don't believe the Fourteenth amendment was undermined in the case of Kentucky v. King. In King's case, police happened to stumble upon King doing something illegal due to a chase they were active in. The fact that the police were in the middle of a chase is what only makes the arrest of King acceptable. If the cops hadn't been in a chase, then the fourteenth amendment would completely and definitely been undermined.

5/24/2011
Irving/TX
Shelby Z
Bradley/Nimitz
I don't believe that the Supreme Court's ruling in Kentucky v King underminds the Fourth Amendment. It doesn't matter that King wasn't the person being chased, he was still doing illegal things and should have been arrested for them. I think this case was an exception. The officers could tell the man in the apartment was doing something illegal so why should they have to take the time to get a warrant when they can just take care of it right then.

5/24/2011
Irving/Tx
Ashley J
Bradley/Nimitz
I think that the police had a fair reasoning for checking the apartments if they truly believed the suspect was in those mentioned. It begins crossing lines and being subject to interpretation when they arrested the unrelated criminals. They were breaking the law, however, the reason they entered was because they were looking for a suspect. This power could easily be abused and law enforcement could suddenly start having a lot of 'reason to believe evidence is being destroyed' scenario's and make unrelated arrests. I think that is wrong because it goes around the Fourth Amendment and technically allows for search and seizure without a warrant.

5/24/2011
Irving/Tx
Demi S
Bradley/ Nimitz High School
In my opinion, the ruling in Kentucky v. King does not undermine the Fourth Amendment in the fact that the officers did have probable cause to look for the drug-dealer; when the known drug suspect they were in pursuit of was an unfortunately superb hider, I think its just to say the officers had probable cause to search the premises for their suspect. Now, in the aspect of is it right that King be arrested for not being directly tied with the officers probable cause search should be a different case. I think the police had a right to search the apartment on probable cause for their initial suspect, but to search the apartment of King for drugs, which they found in a search even after realizing their drug-dealer was not present, should have been done with a warrant. I do not think it violates Kings right to have his apartment searched on the probable cause that the other suspect may be hiding within, as they could have searched all apartments in the complex, but to search for other things is in violation of his privacy right and should have been done with a warrant- even if he was destroying evidence.

5/23/2011
Philadelphia/Pennsylvania
Nadine
Mr.Frank/Northeast High school
I think the Supreme Court ruling in Kentucky vs. King does undermine the Fourth Amendment and the police shouldn't be allowed to break into homes if they smell something or hear a noise. I feel that it takes the whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment away because than police wouldn't even bother to get a warrant anymore. They will just continue to bust into people's homes and use that excuse of smelling or hearing something criminal happening. I also think that the Kentucky officers had no probable cause to break into King's house because he was in the privacy of his own home and they had no right to just break into his house. I feel that the police should stick to the Fourth Amendmnet and obtain a warrant inorder to enter someone's home.

5/23/2011
Irving/ Texas
Kenneth
H.Bradley/Nimitz
The Supreme court case Kentucky vs. King does undermine the fourth amendment, and the police should not be able to search someone's house because of a smell or noise. The police might not have good senses which he could blame if a mistake is made, when if he would have had more evidence that just a smell or sound he could have gotten a warrant. The Kentucky police did not have the right to search that apartment. It does matter that King was not the person they were chasing, because that just shows that they should legalize marijuana so this would not have been such a big deal.

5/23/2011
Irving, TX
Andrea C
Bradley/Nimitz
I think that this ruling was fair. In this instance I do not think that it undermines the fourth amendment. The officers were already in pursuit and they had to take that risk to ensure they caught the real bad guy. It's obvious that some good came out of this situation: they caught another person who was also committing illegal offenses. Now by no means should it be okay for officers to “break in” without probable cause. People should have the right to have privacy in their homes and own space.

5/23/2011
Irving/TX
Josh J
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that the ruling does violate the fourth amendment. The police have no idea exactly what is going on inside of a house when they are on the outside of it. If they suspect that evidence is being destroyed, they should have to still need a warrant to be able to intrude and breach any and all privacy that is trying to be kept that way. Police would be able to trace if there was any contraband in the house because they have drug dogs to do so. They do not need to imply like something suspicious is happening like in the King case. If they know enough about the suspect to arrive at his/her home, they should already have a warrant in hand just in case such events may occur.

5/23/2011
Irving/TX
Stephanie S.
Bradley/Nimitz
I think that the police can go to a house if they suspect something wrong is happening inside and there is some danger factor on their suspicion like somebody kidnapped or killing, but in the other hand I think the always need to have a warrant before; the evidence cannot be destroyer completely if they could took the time to make a warrant I think they can still find some evidence. The Kentucky officers had a cause to break down to King's House because of the smell of marihuana but actually they were not looking for him, they were chasing another person so I think its unfair that the other person escaped and that the police arrested king instead. The fourth amendment has a reason to be there and I agree wth the “ NO warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause” In the case of Kentucky vs king I think the police had a 50% v 50% they didn't capture the principal suspect but instead capture capture another person doing illegal stuff.

5/23/2011
Irving/TX
Mirna L.
Bradley/Nimitz
In my opinion, the Supreme Court's ruling in Kentucky v. King does not undermine the Fourth Amendment. Police still need to have probable cause to break and enter into someone else's home. I believe that if the police thinks someone inside is destroying evidence, they should first knock and announce themselves, but if no one opens the door and there are still suspicious sounds going on, they should be able to go inside and figure out what's going on. I understand that people may argue that the police can now use any excuse to go into our home, but if they didn't have a reason to suspect anything, they wouldn't be able to defend themselves in court.

5/23/2011
Irving/TX
Jennifer
Bradley/Nimitz High School
While I do agree that the presence of drugs in any apartment complex or neighborhood is dangerous, I do not believe that police should have the right to invade the privacy of any home-owner. The Supreme Court may have justified their reasoning through the circumstances of the situation, but in the end, police did not find who they were originally looking for. We are given a right to privacy for a reason, and unless police are willing to abide by those laws, there is no point in having them in the first place. In this particular case, the police may have broken into the apartment with the right intentions. However, if they were concerned about the well-being of the tenants in that apartment AND wanting to abide by the laws of the Constitution, they would have taken the time out to receive a warrant first, and done things the right way.

5/23/2011
Piqua/Ohio
Holly
Coach Ouhl/ Piqua High School
I dissagree with the supreme court ruling in Kentucky v King. The ruling inhibits the fourth ammendment and allows the officers to abuse the search and seizure power. They may have chased the criminal into that appartment complex but they should not have the right to break in without a warrant in any appartment. The fact is the persons appartment they broke into could have been anyones not even a criminal and the case could have turnned out to in favor of the appartment owner. This ruling gives the police too much power. Their job is to protect citizens but to what end will they infringe upon or rights to do so?

5/23/2011
Piqua/Ohio
Chris
Ouhl/PHS
I disagree with this ruling on the simple fact of reliability, how can the police accuratly prove that they have probable cause, if there only proof is a sense. without evidence that can stand up to an investigation the police would be capable of making any "probable cause" they feel would fit the situation. Now while i dont disagree with the polices right to enter a home without a warrent i feel they should be reqiured to have some concrete evidence of thier probable cause, otherwise they should face some kind of punishment for thier action.

5/23/2011
Piqua, OH
Brad
Coach Ouhl / PHS
The ruling in Kentucky v. King undermines the Fourth Amendment. Police should not be allowed to break into homes because that would be breaking and entering, and if we as the people can't just break in to a home then the police sure shouldn't be allowed. It is a must for them to have a warrant to search. The police should have had probable cause to break in to King's house. King wasn't even the person they were searching for so now he can't trust the police because from what I believe is that they are infringing on his Fourth Amendment rights.

5/23/2011
Piqua, Ohio
Brandon P.
Coach Ouhl/PHS
I strongly believe that the ruling in the court case Kentucky v. King was completely wrong. I think that giving the police that much leeway on their probable cause gives them the ability to just go around and break into homes and say they smelled a funny smell. Plus you can not go by just what you smell because you may never know exactly which apartment it is coming from therefore how could you possibly know which apartment to enter. I think that in this case the police got lucky that the person had drugs on them, if he wouldnt of had the drugs on him then it would of been a whole different case. The police already have enough probable causes they could use, why give them even more?

5/23/2011
Piqua, Ohio
Daret
Coach Ouhl / Piqua High School
The majority opinion (and the argument made to defend it) in Kentucky v. King is completely sound. Had the police not smelled marijuana, and simply heard a toilet flush, the case would be completely different. But they had probable cause in that they smelled marijuana, did not hear a response to their knocks, and heard a toilet flush, indicating destruction of said drugs. Citizens should not be afraid that they are not safe in their homes every time they flush a toilet, those responses are unrealistic and ridiculous. But if you are smoking marijuana in your home, you are already aware of the risk.

5/23/2011
Piqua/Ohio
Justis
Coach Ouhl
I believe the ruling in this case was correct. In my opinion the smell of marijuana in a case looking for a drug dealer is enough probable cause to break a door down. Warrants take time to obtain and in this case there was no time to obtian a warrant with out the evidence being destroyed.

5/23/2011
Piqua, OH
Ellen
Mr. Ouhl/PHS
The ruling for Kentucky v King, I believe was wrongly ruled. A toilet flush is not an example of probable cause. King was wrongly accused and the police thought that they were in the right. The whole entire point of the Fourth Amendment is to protect people from being wrongly accused unless there is strong evidence to support the crime. If police are given the right to forcibly enter houses on a smell, or sound alone then our homes are not safe any more for privacy. They are open as long as there is a smell, or sound that the police believe is not a sound that should be coming from a house. The police can follow a suspected drug dealer, but once he enters his own house, then there should be a warrant needed unless there is a commotion. This search and seizure was was unreasonable, they got the wrong guy. Some times, a toilet flush, and just flat out suspicion, is not a reasonable cause to search, an indivduals house. Know the rights of the people, and not the rights of suspicion.

5/23/2011
Piqua, OH
Ellen
Mr. Ouhl/PHS
The ruling for Kentucky v King, I believe was wrongly ruled. A toilet flush is not an example of probable cause. King was wrongly accused and the police thought that they were in the right. The whole entire point of the Fourth Amendment is to protect people from being wrongly accused unless there is strong evidence to support the crime. If police are given the right to forcibly enter houses on a smell, or sound alone then our homes are not safe any more for privacy. They are open as long as there is a smell, or sound that the police believe is not a sound that should be coming from a house. The police can follow a suspected drug dealer, but once he enters his own house, then there should be a warrant needed unless there is a commotion. This search and seizure was was unreasonable, they got the wrong guy. Some times, a toilet flush, and just flat out suspicion, is not a reasonable cause to search, an indivduals house. Know the rights of the people, and not the rights of suspicion.

5/23/2011
Piqua/Ohio
Shannon
Ouhl/PHS
I believe the Court's ruling in Kentucky v King was justified. The police were there to protect the people, and although they may have found the wrong person, he still was participating in illegal activites. The police found probable cause in that they smelled marijuana, so conclusively they thought it best to take action. Something to point out about this case though, is that the illegal substances obtained needed to be hidden in order for it to be an illegal search and seizure. If the substances were in plain view, however, the officers were in the right to charge the man for possession.

5/23/2011
Piqua/Ohio
Taylor
Ouhl/ Piqua High School
In my opinion, i believe the fourth ammendment was undermined. I completely agree with Justice Ginsburg's dissenting oppinion, the ruling gives police an easy way to ignore the 4th ammendment. The flushing of a toilet was not a probable cause. In this case, i believe the 4th ammendment was viloated.

5/23/2011
Irving, Tx
Kimberly O
Bradley/Nimitz
The ruling Kentucky v King clearly undermines the Fourth Amendment. If the police really believes that they smell drugs or suspect that evidence is being destroyed, they should be able to go into any home/house to look, not search and destroy. If the ordeal is not that big, then they should get a warrant before entering. I think the Kentucky officers had a probable cause to break into the King's house, because the people in the house were not opening the door and flushed something down the toilet after hearing that the police were at their door. They could have been flushing anything, like evidence, down the toilet.

5/23/2011
Piqua/Ohio
You know
Ouhl/ Piqua High School
In my opinion, i believe the fourth ammendment was undermined. I completely agree with Justice Ginsburg's dissenting oppinion, the ruling gives police an easy way to ignore the 4th ammendment. The flushing of a toilet was not a probable cause. In this case, i believe the 4th ammendment was viloated.

5/23/2011
piqua ohio
jared
ouhl/ piqua high school
I believe the courts ruling does undermine the 4th ammendment. I agree with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she says the ruling gives the police a way to get out of the fourth ammenment, because the police can just say they suspect that there are drugs and that is all they would need. I think that that is overstepping their boundries and the ruling gives police too much power.

5/23/2011
Piqua, Ohio
Ike
Mr. Ouhl/Piqua High School
If the Founding Fathers wanted to grant the police probable cause and exceptions to the Fourth Amendment, they would have wrote it in the Constitution. The farther our Constitution strays from its original intent, the weaker our democracy will become.

5/23/2011
Piqua, Ohio
Carly
Mr. Ouhl/ PHS
The Court's ruling in Kentucky v King clearly undermines the Fourth Amendment. This amendment specifically states that police must have a search warrent in order to enter a citizen's home. However, before Kentucky v King the police were able to come into a house without a warrant if they heard screaming from the occupant or if a suspect enters a building. So how is this ruling different from these exceptions to the Fourth Amendment? I don't think they're different at all. In all of these situations the police are taking action to keep drugs and criminals off of our streets. Taking the time to get a warrant would just slow down the process of arresting suspects. Our police should take action just like the officers in Kentucky v King did. These officers had probable cause to break into King's house. They had strong evidence that their suspected drug dealer was in this specific apartment. When they heard the toilet flushing they panicked because their evidence for their arrest was being destroyed. However, King shouldn't have received criminal charges because of the exclusionary rule.

5/23/2011
Piqua Ohio
Brandon
Coach Ouhl / Piqua High School
I think the police did the right thing. They smelled the marijuana so there was a probable cause. In my opinion Justice Ruth Ginsburg's opinion is a very good argument. The job of the police is to protect the public. I would never expect for the police to break down my door unless they had a good reasons to do so. So in her opinion police always need a warrant to enter? Warrants take time to obtain and i dont want the police to take a londg time to to get a warrant if im in trouble. I believe the police were in the right.

5/23/2011
Piqua Ohio
Brandon
Coach Ouhl / Piqua High School
I think the police did the right thing. They smelled the marijuana so there was a probable cause. In my opinion Justice Ruth Ginsburg's opinion is a very good argument. The job of the police is to protect the public. I would never expect for the police to break down my door unless they had a good reasons to do so. So in her opinion police always need a warrant to enter? Warrants take time to obtain and i dont want the police to take a londg time to to get a warrant if im in trouble. I believe the police were in the right.

5/23/2011
O-H-I-O
Darrin
Coach Ouhl/ Piqua High School
I think it is a good idea for the police to be able to search the house upon probable cause, but it would be very easy for the police to abuse their power. I agree with the supreme courts decision and with the police who went into the apartment because they heard a toilet flushing so the people inside were destroying evidence that could be used against them in court. the police need to have probable cause before they can enter a house to search.

5/23/2011
Piqua OH
Tucker
Ouhl/PHS
Do you really want the police busting down your door and taking your drugs because they heard a toilet flush? Sometimes a toilet flush is just a toilet flush! Police barging in everytime I go to the bathroom? That doesn't sound like much protection, and certainly isn't my idea of a safe environment. - Just Saying. Think About It.

5/23/2011
Piqua, OH
Kaele
Mr. Ouhl/Piqua
I believe the intention of the Fourth Ammendment is inhibited with the ruling of Kentucky v. King. As exemplified by King's arrest, the police have no sure way to know if they might smell or hear the destruction of evidence. They could barge in on a completely innocent person, and possibly get into trouble for that. Is it worth further lawsuits and corruption to give the police force that extra significant amount of power? A warrant should be provided if a search is supposedly needed. More than likely, if the deliquent commits a crime one time, he or she will do it again. The police will be ready and much more informed and sure of their actions when that time comes. While I am not naive in believing that people get away with crimes daily, I think the chance of infringing upon the rights of respectable citizens is too great of a cost.

5/23/2011
Piqua/Ohio
Maddie
Coach Ouhl
I completely agree with Justice Ginberg's opinion. The ruling in Kentucky v King totally undermines the Fourth Amendment. The police shouldn't just be allowed to break into homes because they think that there could be a chance there are drugs there. The police would have way to much power, and whose to say we trust ever police officer. I think in order to break into anyones house, there needs to be some real evidence. Not just police going off a hunch. Also, how do you prove that you suspected evidence being destroyed? So you hear a toliet flush?That doesn't seem like enough evidence to me for police to break into my house. I don't think the officers had probable cause to break into King's house. The police should still have to convince a judge that there is probable cause, otherwise the police can pretty much do whatever they want.

5/23/2011
Piqua OH
Sam
Coach Ouhl / PHS
Personally, I don't believe that a toilet flush should be considered probable cause. It is a sound that people hear every day and have learned to disregard. The police acted with what they thought was confidence, in the best interest of the community, yet didn't even barge into the house they were looking for. Considering that, King should not have had any charges pressed against him; instead, they should have realized their mistake and left his house alone. They would have had to if King had told the police they could not enter, and the whole situation could have been adverted. The police would have had to get a warrant, which would have justified King's arrest. The lesson in this case is to know one's rights when it comes to search and seizure.

5/23/2011
Piqua
Adrian
Coach Ouhl
I believe this search was in no way constitutional and should be overturned immediately!! The police had no probable cause to break into the apartment and merely got lucky in the fact that the person was in fact in violation of the law. Meanwhile, although he was in possesion of marijuana, the search was still in violation of the fourth ammendment. And that , and that alone is enough to overturn the case in my opinion.

5/23/2011
Piqua, OH
Luke Vickroy
Mr. Ouhl
The Supreme Court ruling absolutely undermines the fourteenth ammendment. No, the police should not be allowed to breaking to homes on the basis of whether or not they believe drugs are being destroyed, because, as we've learned by this case, they aren't always right. Where were the drug dogs? To bring drug dogs to the premises is within the police's jurisdiction and would have been a much sounder alternative to breaking into one's home because you "smelled marijuana." The officers would have probable cause that is much more credible. The time should have been taken to get a warrant.

5/23/2011
Piqua/ Ohio
Kassidy
Mr. Ouhl, Piqua High School
I think that the Supreme Court's ruling did not undermine the Fourth Amendment. The police had reason to break into the home, because he had a reason to suspect that there was crime being done inside of the home. The person he was chasing could have been the person inside of the apartment, and since the police suspected that and smelled drugs he should not have wasted the time to get a warrant. The officer had a probable cause to break in, even if he turned out to be wrong.

5/23/2011
Piqua, Ohio
Zachary ;
Ouhl/ Piqua High School
I believe that breaking into a home without a warrant is an invasion of privacy and should not be allowed. If the ability to use probable cause in any situation is granted to the police, they may abuse their power. Also, what exactly is "probable cause" and who has the right to declare this? I believe that a warrant should have to be used in order to search a home in any case, no matter what the issue is,

5/23/2011
Piqua OH
Brittany
Ouhl/ Piqua
I don't think the ruling in Kentucky v. King undermines the Fourth Amendment. If police smell drugs or suspect evidence is being destroyed I think they have probable cause to enter one's home without a warrant. In the time it takes the police to get a warrant, bad things could happen. What if the guy died because of the drugs. The police could prevent peoples lives from being in danger. I don't think it matters that it wasn't the person they were looking for, the police had the probable cause to bust into the house and in my opinion they very well could have saved the guys life.

5/23/2011
Piqua OH
Brittany
Ouhl/ Piqua
I don't think the ruling in Kentucky v. King undermines the Fourth Amendment. If police smell drugs or suspect evidence is being destroyed I think they have probable cause to enter one's home without a warrant. In the time it takes the police to get a warrant, bad things could happen. What if the guy died because of the drugs. The police could prevent peoples lives from being in danger. I don't think it matters that it wasn't the person they were looking for, the police had the probable cause to bust into the house and in my opinion they very well could have saved the guys life.

5/23/2011
O-H-I-O
Darrin
Coach Ouhl/ Piqua High School
what is the 4th admendment?

5/23/2011
Piqua/Ohio
Jon
Ouhl
In this case I believe that the fourth Amendment has been undermined. Justice Ginsburg made a great point that this gives an easy way for the police to ignore the Fourth Amendment, simply by claiming to smell or hear something. As long as there is no immediate danger the police have no right to barge into someones house with out a warrant. I personallly think that this new power will be abused and will infringe upon people's rights.

5/23/2011
Piqua, ohio
Andrew Shellabarger
Mr. Ouhl
This absolutely takes the idea of the four amendment down to a weak and loose concept. Ex: in a very low populated area (No witnesses) there is a very low abiltiy to prove that the claim the police are making (Hearing or smelling something). The expectation of privacy could very well be lost.

5/20/2011
Irving/Texas
Jacob
Bradley/Nimitz
I find myself in agreement with Justice Ginberg's opinion, this Court ruling opens a can of worms that will completely undermine everyone's Fourth Amendment right; almost to the point where it can be debated whether or not people have that right at all. The police barged into a house where they suspectwed a drug dealer was hiding, noting the fact that they heard a toliet flushing, they assumed he was destorying evidence. That seems easy to poke holes in, simply put, if they already suspect he was a drug dealer, wouldn't they already have evidence to this accusation? Then, of course, we come to the problem of them busting down someone else's door and finding that they are in the possession of drugs, and arresting him. I find this a complete violation of rights, what would've happened if someone was just flushing a toliet for the sake of removing waste? Just say sorry? This entire situation is based on a false entry into someones home, and I find that entry unconsitiutional.

5/19/2011
Montgomery/ TX
Caitlin O
Metzger/ Montgomery
I think that the police had every right to barge into the wrong suspects house. Criminal, or no criminal, the police should have the right to invade privates space. The reason I'm saying this is because it is their duty to try to obtain a safe enviroment and drug free one as well. Even though they jumped to a conclusion, the law enforcement was only trying to protect others and punish them for breaking the law. I believe if there is any suspicion, action should be taken place because that is their duty. Suspicion should be considered a probable cause and not an unreasonable cause.

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