Nation: Bill Vindicated

Inspectors may need warrants

When an inspector from the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tried to walk unannounced into Ferrol G. ("Bill") Barlow's shop in Pocatello, Idaho, almost three years ago, the irritated proprietor refused him entry. Barlow, an electrical and plumbing subcontractor, cited the Bill of Rights, a copy of which hangs on his office wall, and particularly the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits "unreasonable searches" of private property. The inspector, Barlow insisted, needed a search warrant to inspect his place of business. After Barlow ignored a federal judge's order to allow the inspector in, the Government went back...

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