Friday, June 16, 2006

Justice O'Connor, We Miss You

The Supreme Court made it easier Thursday for police to barge into homes and seize evidence without knocking or waiting.

The court, on a 5-4 vote, said judges cannot throw out evidence collected by police who have search warrants but do not properly announce their arrival.

It was a significant rollback of earlier rulings protective of homeowners. Dissenting justices predicted that police will now feel free to ignore previous court rulings requiring officers with search warrants to knock and announce themselves to avoid running afoul of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.

Sandra Day O'Connor was still on the bench in January when the case was first argued. She asked: "Is there no policy of protecting the home owner a little bit and the sanctity of the home from this immediate entry?"