THE SUPREME COURT: Searching Decision

Bewigged and impassioned, Statesman James Otis rose in a Boston court 189 years ago last month, and in a speech all but lost to history delivered a ringing argument against the Crown's infamous writs of assistance authorizing unlimited search & seizure. "Then and there." wrote John Adams, "the child Independence was born."

Last week, in a 5-3 decision which dissenting Justice Felix Frankfurter said "makes a mockery" of the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court held that officers engaged in lawful arrest may search premises without a search warrant.. Justice Sherman ("Shay") Minton,...

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