Friday, March 24, 2006

Georgia v. Randolph

The opinions are here. I am struck by 3 things.

1. Reading the main opinion (Justice Souter) is painful while reading the Chief Justice's dissent is smooth and easy.

2. The Chief successfully makes mockery of the majorities legal skills and logic.

3. None of them asked two questions that a non-lawyer like me finds obvious.
  • If the wife had walked back to the bedroom and brought the cocaine out to the police, how would they have ruled?
  • If the cop had called the DA and said "We are standing here and the wife says the husband has drugs in the bedroom, can we get a warrant?" would said warrant have been justified?
I am not sure if these questions have a specific legal impact as they did not happen. But they are the logical extension to the ruling. The next time a smart cop finds himself in one of these two situations won't he do one of these two? Or both? Would it have been so hard for Justice Souter to tell us what the logical extension of his opinion result in?


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