Another Solo Dissent by Justice Ginsburg in Kentucky v. King, finds Court reduced “Fourth Amendment’s force.”

May 16th, 2011

In Kentucky v. King, the Supreme Court 8-1, per Justice Alito, reverse the Kentucky Supreme Court, finding that the “exigent circumstances rule . . . . [does] apply in the case at hand [even though] the police should have foreseen that their conduct would prompt the occupants to attempt to destroy evidence.” In this case a police officer knocked on the door, which prompted the destruction of evidence. The officer then entered the home under the exigent circumstances doctrine, without a warrant. The Court held that “the conduct of the police prior to their entryinto the apartment was entirely lawful.”

Justice Ginsburg, following a trend this term, issued another solo dissent (a short one at 4-pages).

The Court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement indrug cases. In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neu-tral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, nevermind that they had ample timeto obtain a warrant. I dissent from the Court’s reduction of the Fourth Amendment’s force.

By my count, Justice Ginsburg has authored 4 concurring opinions and 4 dissents this term.