Thursday, November 10, 2005

Georgia v. Randolph

On the general subject of Home as Castle, the Supreme Court recently heard argument in Georgia v. Randolph.  Wife and husband were involved in a domestic dispute; wife gave police consent to search the house for drugs; husband then comes home and tells the police to stop the search; police continue to search anyway, and find straw with cocaine on it.  I'm far from a Fourth Amendment expert, but it seems to me that the key fact is that the husband revoked consent to search; each person in a shared home may be presumed to be able to consent to a search of the house, but it seems to me that this presumption should be overridden when another resident of the home explicitly revokes the consent.  If you are interested in the issue, you should check out the debate going on over at the Volokh Conspiracy between Orin Kerr and Tom Goldstein about the case; Goldstein argued for Randolph in the Supreme Court.  Also, Dahlia Lithwick has a characteristically entertaining recap of the oral argument over at Slate.

Ben Barros

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