Forbes magazine is reporting an odd 8-1 SCOTUS decision which ruled police may knock down your door if they hear noises which suggest you might be destroying evidence of a crime — even if you’re not the person they’re looking for in the first place.
In a surprising 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that police can knock down the door to your home and enter if they hear noises that lead them to believe that evidence is being destroyed.
The Kentucky case resulting in the ruling involved the police smelling marijuana in the hallway of an apartment building while chasing a suspect they believed was engaged in selling crack cocaine. When the police knocked on the door of the apartment (which was not the apartment of the initial suspect the police were pursuing) and announced themselves, they heard ‘noises’ inside which led them to believe that evidence was being destroyed. In response, they broke down the door and entered the apartment.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the lone dissenting voice, writing in her dissent:
The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases. In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant.
How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and …forcibly enter?”
It’s a sad say when Justice Ginsburg is the lone voice of support for the constitution…