Pop Quiz on the History of the Fourth Amendment:

In 1925, the Supreme Court upheld a warrantless automobile search against a Fourth Amendment challenge. The dissent argued that Fourth Amendment protections should apply to cars as well to homes:

And it is argued that the words and history of this section indicate the intent of Congress to distinguish between the necessity for warrants in order to search private dwelling and the right to search automobiles without one. Evidently Congress regarded the searching of private dwellings as matter of much graver consequence than some other searches and distinguished between them by declaring the former criminal. But the connection between this distinction and the legality of plaintiffs in error’s arrest is not apparent. Nor can I find reason for inquiring concerning the validity of the distinction under the Fourth Amendment. Of course, the distinction is valid, and so are some seizures. But what of it? The act made nothing legal which theretofore was unlawful, and to conclude that by declaring the unauthorized search of a private dwelling criminal Congress intended to remove ancient restrictions from other searches and from arrests as well, would seem impossible.

While the Fourth Amendment denounces only unreasonable seizures unreasonableness often depends upon the means adopted. Here the seizure followed an unlawful arrest, and therefore became itself unlawful-as plainly unlawful as the seizure within the home so vigorously denounced in Weeks v. United States…

Here’s the quiz. The two dissenters were (a) noted civil libertarians Louis Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes; or (b) reactionary “Horsemen” McReynolds and Sutherland.

The answer is “b”, with McReynolds writing the opinion. Brandeis and Holmes joined Chief Justice Taft’s majority opinion.

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