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U.S. Supreme Court Limits Use of Drug-Sniffing Dogs, Citing an Unreasonable Search

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Police who use drug-sniffing dogs outside of homes to detect crimes without a warrant are violating the ban on unreasonable searches, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Tuesday, the New York Times reports.

In this case, a police dog detected the odor of marijuana outside a Florida house, and authorities used the retriever’s signal to obtain a search warrant.

The Supreme Court ruled that the dog amounted to an unreasonable search barred by the Fourth Amendment. “To find a visitor knocking on the door is routine (even if sometimes unwelcome),” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote. “To spot that same visitor exploring the front porch with a metal detector, or marching his bloodhound into the garden before saying hello and asking permission, would inspire most of us to — well, call the police.”


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