High Court Rules on Border Searches

From John Wesley Hall at Fourth Amendment.com:

The Supreme Court held today that the border exception does not require reasonable suspicion for a gas tank search. The reasonable suspicion standard for searches of the person was imported by the 9th Cir. into overly intrusive vehicle searches, and the Supremes declined to extend the rule that far. The fact of a delay at the border of 1-2 hours is not
unreasonable and "to be expected." United States v. Flores-Montano, 2004
WL 609791 (U.S. 2004).

In the overall scheme of things, this will not have much effect because customs officers do not have the time to search every car, and they will usually have reasonable suspicion before they do an overly intense search of the car. We lost, but I don't think that this is a big deal.

John is the author of the text book, Search and Seizure (3d. Edition), published by Lexis.

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