By Damon Root, Reason
In 2019, the California Court of Appeal, 1st Appellate District, ruled that a police officer may always enter a suspect’s home without a warrant if the officer is in pursuit of the suspect and has probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a misdemeanor. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether that ruling should be overturned.
Justice Neil Gorsuch seemed to have a problem with the lower court’s decision. Under the common law, Gorsuch pointed out during oral arguments in Lange v. California, the police did not “have the power to enter the home in pursuit of any and all misdemeanor crimes.” The framers of the Fourth Amendment built on that common law understanding. So “why would we create a rule that is less protective than what everyone understands to be the case of the Fourth Amendment as original matter?”