Skip to comments.SCOTUS Approves Search Warrants Issued by Dogs
Posted on 02/21/2013 9:01:01 PM PST by Altariel
Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that "a court can presume" an alert by a drug-sniffing dog provides probable cause for a search "if a bona fide organization has certified a dog after testing his reliability in a controlled setting" or "if the dog has recently and successfully completed a training program that evaluated his proficiency in locating drugs." The justices overturned a 2011 decision in which the Florida Supreme Court said police must do more than assert that a dog has been properly trained. They deemed that court's evidentiary requirements too "rigid" for the "totality of the circumstances" test used to determine when a search is constitutional. In particular, the Court said it was not appropriate to demand evidence of a dog's performance in the field, as opposed to its performance on tests by police.
Writing for the Court, Justice Elena Kagan accepts several myths that allow drug dogs to function as "search warrants on leashes" even though their error rates are far higher than commonly believed:
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
Who gets to say the dog is in fact “alerting”?
A bonified organization gave a degree to OH-Bow-MA!!!
Yuh, huh... in a previous SCOTUS case they said it was okay that these dogs only get it right 1/4 of the time.
Good question. Would the dog, or its handler, be called to appear and testify in court?.... hmm.
The supreme is constantly becoming more and more proficient at destroying the US constitution. I have ZERO Respect for them.
The problem aint the dog and its ability. It’s that the cop can say “the dog indicated,,,”. The cop can say that anytime, and nobody can prove differently. The dog can’t argue the point.
This is garbage law.
Somebody alert the canine unit the next time Kagan goes out with cash on her person.
Too much? Do I need an /sarcasm?
The cops could just take an uncertified mutt that is known to make false alerts and plant a package. Claim that the certified dog was used. Then the state can seize the victim's property.
It also wouldn't be hard to teach a certified dog to alert whenever a certain hand gesture or sound is made.
Dogs are pretty much our servants. They are NOT objective witnesses by any standard.
Only if they can get someone to translate everything the dog says! Call in the K-PAX dude for the job!
Had a friend in high school back in the every body is doing drugs 80s who was humiliated by a police dog ‘hit’ on his locker for his skunky gym socks.
Even if the dogs do smell something and can unmistakably tell a cop and we can take the cop’s word for it later, why do we let them do this? Dogs are cheating, same way x-ray vision through walls or aerial drones with infrared cameras would be, in my opinion. I understand the plain sight exception, and also the general principle that whatever is readily apparent is fair game. But that should be readily apparent to human beings, not genetically engineered smelling machines (i.e. dogs).
I don’t want to live in a country where the only way I can expect privacy is if I lock my property airtight, so as not to allow a single probable cause causing particle to waft past whatever technology the cops have comandeered for their nefarious purposes this week.
“Spot, speak”, he whispered to his dog.
The dog complied and barked viciously at the door.
“M’am, we’re going to have to search your house; our warrent has been issued by Spot.”
The cop whispered to Spot, “Good dog” as they tore apart the house.
And that is the story of how the fourth amendment became of non-effect.
....or everyone can go through a search, even without cash in their wallets, because the handler bandler cues the dog (voluntarily or involuntarily) to ‘discover’ drugs or drug residue on your person.
The fault isn’t the dog’s-—it’s just doing what all good dogs do: work to please their masters (with the hope of a little treat for a reward).
The fault is the man’s.
It was a unanimous vote - every single one of them should be alerted on and enjoy a keep-the-children-safe-from-drugs cavity search.
> Spot, speak, he whispered to his dog.
> The dog complied and barked viciously at the door.
> Mam, were going to have to search your house; our warrent has been issued by Spot.
> The cop whispered to Spot, Good dog as they tore apart the house.
> And that is the story of how the fourth amendment became of non-effect.
About what I was thinking... but I would like to see the spot where the dog’s signature is on the warrant... I mean they’re signed by the issuing authority, right?
The Supreme Court is only supposed to decide cases based upon particular arguments brought before it and the legal applicability of particular remedies sought. While I don't know the details of this particular case, the fact that the decision was unanimous suggests to me that the arguments against the search may not have been the best ones possible, and as such the judges may have been entirely justified in ruling as they did. What is more fundamentally objectionable is that Supreme Court rulings end up being applied in situations which go far beyond the narrow scope of the case put before them, such that people end up being bound by court decisions to which they were never parties.
Maybe the courts should decide that the search is illegal only in those cases where the dog refuses to clearly testify as to how he determined what he determined.