…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.