Civil and Human Rights

RELEASE: Supreme Court: Victory for Fourth Amendment in Caniglia

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court this morning issued a ruling in Caniglia v. Strom, holding that the Fourth Amendment does not allow police to enter homes and conduct searches and seizures without a warrant under a generalized “community caretaking” rationale.

Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:

Today’s opinion by Justice Thomas for a unanimous Court was spot-on. While the Court has allowed warrantless searches of vehicles in some situations under a “community caretaking” rationale, today’s opinion recognizes that “what is reasonable for vehicles is different from what is reasonable for homes.” The “caretaking” function that police officers are often called upon to perform is not “an open-ended license” to invade the privacy of the home.

These points echo the main arguments in our brief, namely that the Fourth Amendment’s framers provided broad protections against unbridled searches and seizures in large part to preserve the privacy and security of the home. The lower court’s ruling could not be squared with that text and founding history, and the Supreme Court today was right to issue this important correction.



CAC’s case page in Caniglia v. Strom

“In wake of Floyd, Taylor killings, should police have power to enter your home without a warrant?,” David Gans, USA Today, March 22, 2021:

CAC Alert (VIDEO), Miriam Becker-Cohen, March 24, 2021:

RELEASE: Reaction to DOJ filing in Caniglia v. Strom, February 24, 2021:


Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at


More from Civil and Human Rights