Ever wonder how the law adapts to technology that makes it harder or easier for police to search and seize suspected criminals? Orin Kerr posits that an Equilibrium-adjustment exists. "Courts respond to the new facts by trying to restore the old level of protection. If a new technology or practice increased government power, courts ratchet up Fourth Amendment...
A Little Erosion of Liberty
"Landlords and tenants are not usually on the same side in the courtroom. But in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a group of tenants are standing up for their property rights and supporting their landlord against the City's inspection policy. It's a case with far-reaching implications that should concern every American.
When conducting building code inspections, the City of Kalamazoo demands that landlords provide access to rented apartments, even without tenant consent or a valid search warrant, thereby cutting tenants entirely out of the process. As a result, government inspectors are free to roam through bedrooms and bathrooms while apartment tenants are at work or out shopping.
It ought to be abundantly clear that in America, with rare exception, government officials cannot constitutionally enter a home without either the resident's explicit approval or a valid search warrant issued by a judge who has good reason to issue it. Perhaps the inspectors of Kalamazoo believe that renters don't have the same rights as homeowners or that end-running the Constitution is all right if it's for a tenant's own good. That brings to mind a remark attributed to philosopher Henry David Thoreau more than a century ago: 'If I knew for certain that a man was coming to my home to do me good, I would run for my life.'"
More About This Topic...
Click thumbnails below to view links