High Court Rules Against Drug-Sniffing Dog Search
A drug-sniffing dog at your doorstep is a step too far, the Supreme Court has decided.
While the high court had ruled last month that a Florida police officer’s use of a drug-sniffing dog to search a truck during a routine a traffic stop was OK, it drew the line Tuesday at the entrance to a private home.
Writing for a 5-4 majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said a dog sniffing at a house where police suspect drugs are being grown constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the circumstances did not justify the officers’ entry to the home.
“This right would be of little practical value if the state’s agents could stand in a home’s porch or side garden and trawl for evidence with impunity,” Scalia wrote in a majority opinion. “The right to retreat would be significantly diminished if the police could enter a man’s property to observe his repose from just outside the front window.”