March 26, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court turned up its nose a bit Tuesday on the use of drug-sniffing dogs, ruling that the Fourth Amendment limits the ability of police to use the animals near a home.
By a 5-4 vote, the high court upheld a Florida ruling that suppressed evidence found in a marijuana possession case, after a police drug-sniffing dog was brought near a home and alerted officers. The Florida court rejected the evidence, saying officers did not have probable cause to use the dog.
In the majority opinion in Florida v. Jardines, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that a house and its surroundings have Fourth Amendment protections, and noted that the homeowner in the case had not given permission to the police to use the dog.