Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rehnquist's addiction didn't enlighten his opinions

During the height of former Chief Justice Rehnquist's addiction to sleeping pills -- he was taking three times the prescribed dose each night -- Rehnquist took a hard line toward other addicted persons, denying them basic constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure, an analysis on the website asserts.

In Robbins v. California (453 U.S. 950, decided July 1, 1981, at the height of Rehnquist's addiction), police had opened Robbin's suitcase without probable cause and without his permission. The court majority held that the marijuana found in the suitcase could not be used as evidence. Rehnquist -- at a time when a search of his medicine cabinet could have led to a felony conviction -- dissented and dismissed the majority's holding as "engrafting subtleties on the Fourth Amendment." Details.

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