The Roberts Court (2005–present)


Why did the majority rule that the police violated Scott Randolph’s Fourth Amendment rights?

The majority noted that a person has the greatest protection from unreasonable searches and seizures in his or her home. The police searched the premises without a warrant and without the husband’s permission. In such a case of “disputed permission,” the majority reasoned that social expectations show that the search was unreasonable because a third party would not expect to enter a home when a co-tenant gives express permission not to enter the dwelling. The Court explained: “Since the co-tenant wishing to open the door to a third party has no recognized authority in law or social practice to prevail over a present and objecting co-tenant, his disputed invitation, without more, gives a police officer no better claim to reasonableness in entering than the officer would have in the absence of any consent at all.”


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