…at least until they pack the Supreme Court, of course….but with lackeys, not liberals.
The Biden Administration, eager to pave the way for the gun confiscation it claims it never would dream of, is eager to expand the “community caretaking” exception from a 1973 case, Cady v. Dombrowski, in which an officer took a gun out of an impounded car without a warrant. The Supreme Court ruled then that police could conduct such warrantless searches as a “community caretaking function” as long as they did so in a “reasonable” manner.
Since the Progressive Borg considers “sensible gun controls” inherently reasonable, and since they (it?) regards the Second Amendment as inherently dangerous to the community, the government argued that“community caretaking” should extend to homes as well as cars.
A Rhode Island man, Edward Caniglia, sued after police officers searched his home and seized two handguns without a warrant in 2015. During an argument with his wife, Caniglia had placed a handgun on the dining room table and asked her to “shoot [him] and get it over with.” His wife left and called the police the next day. She was worried that her husband had shot himself. The police found Caniglia on his porch, alive. He agreed to go to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation “on the condition that the officers would not confiscate his firearms.” But when he did, the police searched his home anyway, and seized his gun.
Caniglia’s lawyers argued that the search and seizure violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The officers argued that the search was compliant based on their belief that Caniglia was suicidal. The trial court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Caniglia’s position, ruling that the “community caretaking” exception extended to both cars and homes.
The Supreme Court unanimously disagreed. That’s 9-0. They can’t blame this one on “conservatives” trying to destroy democracy. Nor can conservatives accuse the Left end of the SCOTUS bench of not respecting the Bill of Rights.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Cato Institute filed a joint brief urging the court to keep the community caretaking exception “confined to its historic vehicle-related origins” and reject a broader standard that “would give police free rein to enter the home without probable cause or a warrant.” Agreeing, the Supreme Court ruled that neither “the holding nor logic” of Cady justified the police’s actions. Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion, just four pages, was clear and unambiguous: If police do not have the homeowner’s consent, an “exigent” circumstance, or a judicial warrant authorizing a search, then no version of Cady’s car exception applies to police entry into the home under the Fourth Amendment. “What is reasonable for vehicles is different from what is reasonable for homes,” Thomas wrote.
Sorry, anti-gun zealots and Australia admirers! Those gun confiscation raids will just have to wait, and as Justice Alito noted in his concurrence, the opinion throws so-called “red flag laws” into question as well.
You can read the whole thing here.
10 thoughts on “Oops! So Much For That Gun Confiscation Plan…”
And red flags laws – and their enforcement – are a huge issue in Indiana right now after the gunman in the FedEx shooting last month got his weapons after he slipped through the existing red flag laws in our state. That’ll be fun to wade through.
For the record, Police can’t carry out warrantless searches of houses in Australia either.
I seem to have come across a video where a guy participating in a anti-lockdown protest in Oz was enough to get a door-busting warrant signed.
But they did confiscate guns.
Personally, I have many issues with red flag laws, but the primary one is that there is absolutely no evidence that they will reduce violence, as their proponents claim. Since these laws (at least none I have ever read) don’t authorize police to detain people or take them into custody, legitimately dangerous people will be free to continue to plan and execute violent acts. They are still able to obtain another gun or other weapons, keep surveilling and planning and even commit attacks on their victims. So, the red flag laws cannot reduce violence or protect the public from mentally unstable attackers. Dangerous people won’t be stopped by red flag laws, but there’s a bigger risk that innocent, unfairly accused people will have their fundamental liberties violated by the state in applying these laws. Another prime example of a poorly thought-out response to “Do something!”
Red flag laws can also be abused. In the past rich men who wanted to be unburdened of wives would ask their country club doctor buddies to certify the no longer wanted wife as insane and their other buddies on the bench to sign the commitment papers, and presto, she gets locked away for life while the rich guy runs off with his 20-year-old secretary. Now the woman who’s decided her husband/boyfriend isn’t doing for her anymore reaches out to the doctor/social worker/whatever in her yoga class, and has that person give her enough to approach the judge whose kids go to the same school as hers, and suddenly that guy finds his life a living hell.
I heard about this ruling, but not about the concurrence. I will have to give that a read as well.
Decided to quickly grab a link to the ruling for those interested: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20-157_8mjp.pdf
Isn’t this only tangentially a gun thing?
I thought this case was a 4th Amendment argument regarding search and seizure?
Well, in both cases, what was being taken were guns, and the 4th Amendment is part of the protection against any gun confiscation scheme.