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Legal Features

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Collins v. Commonwealth

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Warning against the continuing encroachment of law enforcement on the security and privacy of the homes of citizens, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit police from entering private residential property and approaching a home, uninvited and without a warrant, in order to search a vehicle parked a few feet from the house.

In filing an amicus brief in Collins v. Commonwealth, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the “automobile exception” to the Fourth Amendment, which allows police to search for contraband goods “concealed and illegally transported in an automobile or other vehicle,” should not be extended to cases where the vehicle is within the constitutionally-protected areas of a home. In weighing in on the case, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue against such a dangerous expansion of the “automobile exception,” which would effectively sanction law enforcement to cross constitutionally protected thresholds without a warrant and simply cite the automobile exception as justification for their conduct.