“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
On July 28, 2011, I interviewed Dana Berliner. She is the attorney for the Institute for Justice representing the plaintiffs before the Minnesota Supreme Court. The plaintiffs are challenging the constitutionality of Red Wing’s rental code ordinance which allows for the issuance of search warrants to inspect homes, even without showing any reasonable suspicion that there may be code violations.
The issue currently before the Minnesota Supreme Court is whether the plaintiffs have “standing” (the right to sue) to challenge the ordinance before search warrants are actually issued.
One thing seems certain, this case, (which has been in the courts for five years and has cost local taxpayers about $200,000), will be coming back to the district court for further litigation. Then up on appeal again to the Minnesota Supreme Court for a decision on the merits of the constitutional issues.
Listen to the interview with Ms. Berliner here. She does a great job explaining what this case is about and why it should matter to you. Individuals would have hardly any ability to challenge government actions were it not for groups like the Institute for Justice.
Visit the Institute for Justice’s analysis and background of the case here. You can look at the categories on the right to view previous posts on this issue.