The Supreme Court did the unusual today: It handed down a decision that went against the police. The issue was whether police can search a home without a warrant if the wife says "come on in and look for my husband's dope" (I paraphrase) and the husband says, "No way, you guys beat it" (again, I paraphrase). The Court rules that the police can't enter the home, and they must go get a search warrant. But one part of the decision scares the few folks like me who care about civil liberties. There were three dissenters - the expected Scalia and Thomas - but joining them was the new Chief Justice John Roberts. (The other new judge, Alito, took no part in the decision). Edit: I just read Scalia's dissent and he brings up an interesting point. Police often respond to a domestic violence call and enter a home with the consent of the allegedly battered spouse. This is no longer allowed if the alleged batterer refuses entry. Of course, the police have every right to asked the alleged battered spouse to step outside to interview her and gather evidence. His dissent reads: Finally, I must express grave doubt that today’s decision deserves Justice Stevens’ celebration as part of the forward march of women’s equality. Given the usual patterns of domestic violence, how often can police be expected to encounter the situation in which a man urges them to enter the home while a woman simultaneously demands that they stay out? The most common practical effect of today’s decision, insofar as the contest between the sexes is concerned, is to give men the power to stop women from allowing police into their homes . . . .
at 1:10 PM