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The US Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that a drug dog’s sniff of a residence’s front door is search under the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and that police must therefore obtain a search warrant before unleashing the hounds. The case was Florida v. Jardines.
While the high court has previously ruled that drug dog sniffs of vehicles stopped on the highway, packages at shipping centers, or luggage at airports do not constitute a search under the Fourth, it sets a higher standard for people’s homes. When it comes to the Fourth Amendment, “the home is first among equals,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the 5-4 majority.