Supreme Court Holds Dog Sniff at Doorway is a Search

The Supreme Court ruled today in Florida v. Jardines that the use of a drug-sniffing dog to investigate the front door of a home was a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. “That the officers learned what they learned only by physically intruding on Jardines’ property to gather evidence is enough to establish that a search occurred,” Justice Scalia concluded. Justice Kagan, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor, wrote a concurrence that explained that the case could have also been resolved by examining Jardines’ privacy interests. In Justice Kagan’s view, the use of device “not in general public use” to “explore the details of the home” violates a reasonable expectation of privacy and is therefore a search. EPIC filed an amicus brief in a related Supreme Court case, decide earlier this year. For more information, see EPIC: Florida v. Jardines and EPIC: Florida v. Harris.

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