This page contains Supreme Court rulings -- with summaries of the majority and minority conclusions.
on Feb 29, 2000
Decided Apr 17, 2000
Case Ruling: BOND v. UNITED STATES
A Texas Border Patrol Agent boarded a bus to check the immigration status of its passengers. He squeezed a canvas bag above Mr. Bond’s seat and noticed that it contained a “brick-like” object. After petitioner admitted owning the bag and consented to its search, the Agent discovered a “brick” of methamphetamine.
Held:(Rehnquist, joined by Stevens, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg)
The Agent physical manipulation of petitioner’s carry-on bag violated the Fourth Amendment’s proscription against unreasonable searches. The Government’s assertion that by exposing his bag to the public, petitioner lost a reasonable expectation that his bag would not be physically manipulated is rejected. [Previous precedents allowing searches] involved only visual, as opposed to tactile, observation. Physically invasive inspection is simply more intrusive than purely visual inspection.
Dissent:(Breyer, joined by Scalia)
Does a traveler who places a soft-sided bag in the shared overhead storage compartment of a bus have a “reasonable expectation” that strangers will not push, pull, prod, squeeze, or otherwise manipulate his luggage? I believe that he does not.
The Fourth Amendment protects against government intrusion that upsets an “actual (subjective) expectation of privacy” that is objectively “reasonable.” But an individual cannot reasonably expect privacy in respect to objects or activities that he “knowingly exposes to the public.” Nor can I accept the majority’s effort to distinguish “tactile” from “visual” interventions. Whether tactile manipulation (say, of the exterior of luggage) is more intrusive or less intrusive than visual observation (say, through a lighted window) necessarily depends on the particular circumstances, [which would] lead to a constitutional jurisprudence of “squeezes,” thereby complicating further already complex Fourth Amendment law. For these reasons, I dissent.
Participating counts on VoteMatch question 19.
Question 19: Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it
Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
- Topic: Drugs
- Headline: No tactile inspection by police for drugs
- Headline 2: Tactile inspection for drugs should be legal, like visual
- Key for participation codes:
- Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
- Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
- Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
- Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
- Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.
participating in 98-9349
Total recorded by OnTheIssues: