Justices Bolster Home Protections in Search and Seizure Case (2)

May 17, 2021, 2:42 PM; Updated: May 17, 2021, 6:46 PM

U.S. Supreme Court precedent allowing warrantless searches of impounded vehicles doesn’t allow similar home searches and seizures, the justices said in a unanimous opinion.

“What is reasonable for vehicles is different from what is reasonable for homes,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote Monday in a four-page opinion, declining to apply the so-called community caretaking doctrine to the home.

The decision bolsters home protections but leaves open Fourth Amendment questions that could arise in future cases, as Justice Samuel Alito pointed out in a concurrence that raised the issue of “red flag” laws allowing gun seizures.

“The Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle ...

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