The Supreme Court: Get a Warrant

In 1959, a Supreme Court majority said yes, householders can be prosecuted for rebuffing a common kind of warrantless search: routine checks by fire, health, housing or other administrative inspectors. Last week the 1959 majority became the minority as six Justices said no, inspectors must get search warrants when Americans balk at letting their homes or businesses be checked. In one case, San Francisco Bookstore Owner Roland Camara had admittedly violated the city housing code by living in the rear of his store. In 1963, Camara was arrested for refusing to let a housing inspector see the premises without...

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