SCOTUS Case May Determine If Police Can Enter Your Home WITHOUT a Warrant

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A new Supreme Court case may determine if police have the power to enter a person’s home without a warrant. Years of American law precedent and the US Constitution are quite clear in the restraints put on government agents. However, that isn’t stopping the police, government, and activist judges from doing what they can to continue to chip away at those basic protections.

We know the First Amendment and Second Amendment are under attack. Now the Fourth Amendment is taking another volley.

Turn down the volume, folks, or you may have to face the Supreme Court

Lange vs. California is a case that centers around a traffic stop in California. California Highway Patrol followed Arthur Lange, and only a few seconds elapsed between when the officer turned on his blue lights and when Lange made the turn into his driveway, then his garage.

Lange’s crime? Playing his radio too loud and occasionally beeping his horn. After the officer entered Lange’s garage, he began to suspect Lange had been drinking. Now the case is before the Supreme Court of the United States.

It might not seem like much, but this case could have far-reaching repercussions for the Fourth Amendment and Constitutionally protected rights. How?

The Justices are tasked with essentially what amounts to national guidance regarding when police in pursuit of a suspect can enter someone’s home without a warrant.

The US Constitution requires a warrant, unless…

The Constitution states: 

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.

Some courts have said the 4th amendment does not apply if the person consents or if the officer faces “exigent circumstances” that require immediate action. One of those “exigent circumstances,” according to the Supreme Court, is when an officer is in “hot pursuit of a fleeing felon” who is attempting to evade the police.

Note: The Constitution does NOT allow for no-warrant entry in the case of chasing a felon (that’s an overreach by the courts).

Besides, in this case, Lange wasn’t even suspected of a felony

Lange had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, according to court documents. He lost his license and pleaded no contest to DUI. However, he appealed that what Officer Weikert learned in the garage should not have been allowed into evidence. Of course, a California court sided with police and said there was no difference between pursuing someone suspected of a felony and someone suspected of a misdemeanor.

But Jeffrey L. Fisher, Stanford University law professor representing Lange, said that extending this “hot pursuit” exception to include misdemeanors would increase the power of police to enter someone’s home or property, which, he says, the Constitution holds “sacrosanct.” He is right.

The Constitution requires a warrant.

Fisher agreed with Justice Stephen G. Breyer when Breyer admitted how difficult it could be because of different state laws to classify behavior as a felony or misdemeanor. But, Fisher argued, the court didn’t need to come up with a hard rule.

He argued that the court should instead make these kinds of decisions on a case-by-case basis. He said officers deserve “substantial discretion to analyze the situation, as the courts have always said, but do require a showing of actual exigent circumstances.”

When does a hot pursuit actually become a hot pursuit?

But on the US Supreme Court, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said that a video of the encounter made him doubt that Lange even knew he was being pursued. The officer only turned his lights on 100 feet from Lange’s driveway.

Alito asked an important question, “If we hold that ‘hot pursuit’ requires a hot pursuit, won’t we go a long way toward preventing warrantless arrests for minor infractions?” 

Justice John G. Roberts lamented about hamstringing the police. He worried that an officer could be put in danger when a suspect retreats to his home, where he could destroy evidence or arm himself. He argued that maybe the police should be even more worried when a suspect flees over a minor infraction.

“It seems to me that that’s the situation where you’d be most concerned,” the chief justice explained. “I mean, he’s got something to hide.” Roberts, of course, was unable to cite the clause in the Constitution that stated, “Officer safety is paramount.”

California took the middle ground and said case-by-case is best

Interestingly enough, California seems to believe that its courts were wrong and is declining to defend the courts. State Deputy Solicitor General Samuel T. Harbourt said the state believes that the hot pursuit leeway should be applied on a case-by-case basis when misdemeanors are involved.

Debating over whether police can enter homes without a warrant over misdemeanors or felonies is missing the point. There are situations where this might be applicable, such as a violent crime being committed inside a home or domestic violence. However, the US Constitution is clear that police cannot suspect a person of drunk driving or any other illegal activity and subsequently enter their homes without a warrant.

At a time with the US Congress seems determined to earmark approximately half the population of the country as domestic terrorists, we need every ounce of constitutional protection we can get.

Do you hear that?

What we are witnessing is the legal chipping away at two hundred years worth of protected rights. However, instead of gunshots, it is the click of fingers on a keyboard and the latches of lawyers’ briefcases snapping shut.

What are your thoughts on the case in front of the Supreme Court? Do you feel the police officer was justified in entering the man’s home? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

About Robert

Robert Wheeler has been quietly researching world events for two decades. After witnessing the global network of NGOs and several ‘Revolutions’ they engineered in a number of different countries, Wheeler began analyzing current events through these lenses.

Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler has been quietly researching world events for two decades. After witnessing the global network of NGOs and several 'Revolutions' they engineered in a number of different countries, Wheeler began analyzing current events through these lenses.

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  • So you think you’ve got a magic line that if you cross it while committing a non felony crime your safe like home base in a kids game?

    You know what’s as bad as rights being chipped away by the government? The People thinking legality means its ok, a good idea or somehow excusable.

      • Yes, a guy playing his music loud and beeping his horn a lot is scary.

        Know what’s scarier? The outstretched boot of a gigantic police state kicking your door in because

        A) You have “too many people” at your house

        B) Some of them are praying. Or reading the Bible. Or not wearing a mask. Or eating a meal

        C) GOD help you if anyone is singing. Or singing too loud. Or playing music too loud

        Anyone , and I mean ANYONE who thinks the cops need yet more power over ordinary people MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS, are probably the same folks who think we should get fired for our social media posts, or that our banks should cough up information about whether we spent money in DC on January 6th or that we should get a “social credit “system like they have in China.

        FFS, could we maybe get the cops to go after the people who burn down whole city blocks? Maybe can THAT be a priority?

    • Matt in Oklahoma-
      Apparently you do not know how the law actually works. If a person is suspected of a “non felony crime” the police are supposed to get a warrant which proves they have real cause to enter the suspects hone to get the evidence. None of that is an excuse to be a criminal.
      If a few criminals get away with something minor because the police had to pause to get a warrant that is more tolerable. Criminals are sloppy. They will get caught next time. There is more than enough historic proof that governments will abuse freely entering into a private home to ruin people who disagree with them. The big picture has nothing to do with petty crime and everything to do with clear cut Constitutional law.

  • There’s always a fine line, not necessarily documented by a law case. If, in fact, the officer pursued (followed) the suspect for any length of time and suspected a criminal act and did not stop the offender when he was decided? What was the reason for continuing the pursuit to the home?

  • Why do we have the Constitution if we are not going to follow it. It is the guardian of our sacred rights which are slowly degenerating. History is about to repeat itself. Sounds like the Nazi’ coming to power in the 1930’s. Do we not have enough problems in this country without us bordering on a police state.

    • Not true, actually. The constitution’s guarantee of a man’s right to compete in female sports will be vigorously enforced by the current administration…

  • The magic line is the property line, which should be protected by castle laws, but isn’t. And interpretation of applicable law in a court proceeding is one of the people’s rights despite what the judge wants you to believe. Right or wrong, drunk or not, once he was in his home the cop no longer had the authority to arrest him. Period. Assuming this article has presented all the relevant facts, the case should have been thrown out the minute the judge had the facts.

    • “The magic line is the property line”

      it’s not magic, and if a fleeing felon can jump across this line and be immune to further pursuit then this is a negation of any notion of public law. which is of course what some on the right would like to see happen and to replace it with private law, which they assume they would monopolize.

      • If you understand what a warrant is, and that it is not that difficult to obtain one you will realize that no felon is ‘immune to further pursuit’ as you stated. No one that I know on the right wants to negate the law. They want the constitution to be adhered to and laws to be fairly applied to everyone. The elite on the right and left already have their own ‘private law’ and trash the constitution. Perhaps that is what you want as well.

        • “No one that I know on the right wants to negate the law.”

          not exactly. what some want is to be the law themselves on their own recognizance. they say they hate government, but they’re not being honest – they have no problem with being sheriff and judge and jury and executioner and prophet and priest and patriarch themselves, rather they object to anyone else being so.

  • Q: Do you [think] the police officer was justified in entering the man’s home?

    A: Nope. The vermin was just looking for a victim.

    By the U S Constitution (a compromised condom) paramilitary predators may not enter somebody’s home without a warrant. There is no exigent exception within the text. That exception is an opinion put forth by judges who are not constitutionally authorised to interpret the Constitution. Nowhere in the text of the Constitution did framers grant interpretation authority to anybody. Chief Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison ruled that ” ‘it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.’ Since Marbury v. Madison the Supreme Court has been the final arbiter of the constitutionality of congressional legislation” (https://tinyurl.com/2funxsvd)

    So, no, this paramilitary predator within the child humping prevaricator agency had no actual business entering the defendant’s property without a warrant.

    • “By the U S Constitution … may not enter somebody’s home without a warrant.”

      actually what it says is “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 immediate pursuit of a criminal is quite reasonable.

      “The vermin”, “(a compromised condom) paramilitary predators”, “child humping prevaricator agency”

      sounds like a serious personal problem.

  • Officer had no right to enter. Probable cause for stop ( horn honking and loud music) both call for an opinion on the part of the officer. Officer cannot prove the intent behind the honking and there is no specific decibel number in the codes and officer doesn’t have a decibel meter either.

  • “The Constitution does NOT allow for no-warrant entry in the case of chasing a felon (that’s an overreach by the courts).”

    well that’s an old ruling upheld by common sense and decades of practice, so you’re overreaching yourself.

  • We already know how this will turn out.
    When all participants of a “system” are feeding from the same nose-bag, free from competition — and are allowed (by your neighbors and friends — hopefully not you) to
    • Make the laws,
    • Enforce the laws,
    • Prosecute the laws,
    • Hire the prosecutors,
    • License the “defense” attorneys,
    • Pay the “judges”,
    • Build the jails,
    • Contract jails out to private entities,
    • Employ and pay the wardens,
    • Employ and pay the guards,
    • Employ and pay the parole officers,
    One can’t honestly call it a “justice” system. It’s a system of abject tyranny.

  • So a DUI suspect should be allowed to ELUDE police and as long as they make it home(is it theres or someone elses?)its OK? Hell NO , bust their ass! Does NOT apply to law abiding citizens. Exigent circumstances applies here imho. What if he runs in and destroys evidence or worse kills someone?

    • But he wasn’t a DUI suspect according to the article, he was suspected of having to his music on to loudly. What if he was Jaywalking would the cop be justified in following him in his home? I was told by an NCO early in my career as an MP that if I couldn’t be trusted to follow the laws how could I be entrusted to enforce them? This seems to much like fruit of a poisonous tree doctrine to me.

  • PEACE AND SAFETY,PEACE AND SAFETY,PEACE AND SAFETY,PEACE AND SAFETY…THEN COMES SUDDEN DESTRUCTION,death follows those who think they are above the law,WAR IS COMING TO AMERICA,This will not stop any other way,the entire Government won’t be happy till their used for Dog food,and they’ll probable bitch about that…REMEMBER YOUR DOGS AMERICA,THEY’LL BE HUNGRY TOO…Nail them to a tree,and cut pieces off them..THOSE DOGS will be worth their weight in gold soon…

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