Archive for August 2019

Unconscious DUI Suspect – Blood Seizure Without Warrant – Supreme Court Opinion an Abomination!

The United States Supreme Court recently remanded (returned to the state court) a case involving a DUI suspect whose blood was extracted without a warrant at a hospital while the suspected DUI driver was unconscious. The Court’s opinion in Mitchell v. Wisconsin (2019) 588 U.S. ____, authored by Justice S. Alito, is an outrageous deviation from constitutional jurisprudential standards – namely, stare decisis – and could be construed as an “advisory opinion” in violation of the Case or Controversy Clause of the United States Constitution.

President Trump Supreme Court nominee and now Associate Justice, N. Gorsuch, dissented (disagreed). As would be expected of a liberty-loving, government-constraining, jurist in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In disagreeing with the Court’s opinion, Justice Gorsuch wrote, “Rather than proceeding solely by self-direction, I would have dismissed this case as improvidently granted and waited for a case presenting the exigent circumstances question.” That’s Justice Gorsuch’s way of saying the court was out of bounds to consider an exception to the warrant requirement that was not argued by the parties below and that, moreover, the facts of the case did not meet the exigent circumstances standard required to lawfully extract Mitchell’s blood without a warrant. Stated differently, if Justice Gorsuch were talking with Justice Alito at a bar, he might say something like, ‘Sam, that was wrong; and you are an idiot!’

For those who value the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures and the requirement that the government and police obtain a warrant before engaging in reasonable searches and seizures, there is no higher court to appeal this abomination of constitutional jurisprudence to, unfortunately.