Will the Supreme Court reinforce or diminish your property rights?

OVERVIEW: This is an opportunity to build on an earlier success by bolstering the property rights protection of the Fourth Amendment.


The Supreme Court will soon review the 9th Circuit ruling in City of Los Angeles v. Patel.

We need your support to file an amicus brief in support of the 9th Circuit decision.

That decision further strengthened the property rights basis of the Fourth Amendment. But it is going to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Remember…

The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect your right to be secure in your person and property from search and seizure by police. But…

The property protection had been ignored by Court rulings, from 1968 and up until (Antoine) Jones v. United States. The courts preferred to base Fourth Amendment protections on “reasonable expectations of privacy.” As surveillance technology expanded, these expectations shrunk. Thus…

If the court decided that you had no reasonable expectation of privacy in a particular instance, the search was validated, even if it violated your right to be secure in your property.

The decision in the Jones case reversed this approach. It restored the property rights basis for judging Fourth Amendment cases, and demoted expectations of privacy to a subordinate position.

This was a major victory!

In fact, our brief was the only one, in that case, to make an explicit property rights argument.

You made it possible for us to submit a brief in the Antoine Jones case, with an argument that the Court largely adopted.

Now we have a chance to further cement that victory!

The 9th Circuit ruled in City of Los Angeles v. Patel that Los Angeles police cannot search hotel registries without a warrant. The court used a property rights basis! Hotels own their registries. This means police must have a warrant to search them. We will provide arguments which reinforce this view, building upon our Antoine Jones work. However…

The 9th Circuit also left a loophole. They claimed that cases involving heavily regulated industries, such as “mines or firearms” might not be decided in the same way.

But our Supreme Court brief will argue that the Fourth Amendment never permitted discrimination against any property owner, including firearms dealers.

Please help us file this brief!

Contributions to this project are tax-deductible.

You can make your contribution with the help of our secure web form.

Thank you,

Jim Babka


Downsize DC Foundation

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