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Current Supreme Court Cases - Essay Example

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California case focused on the nature of invading privacy when co-tenants have dissimilar ideologies relative to police officers accessing their apartment. Police officers traced Fernandez, the petitioner, back to his apartment as a prime suspect to a stabbing…
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Current Supreme Court Cases
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Political Science Essay Fernandez v. California Summary The Fernandez v. California case focused on the nature of invading privacy when co-tenants have dissimilar ideologies relative to police officers accessing their apartment. Police officers traced Fernandez, the petitioner, back to his apartment as a prime suspect to a stabbing in a violent gang robbery (Russell 1). Outside the apartment, the police officers could hear screams and people arguing and after knocking Roxanne Rojas (Fernandez’s in-house girlfriend) opened the door. Roxanne appeared fleshly battered and was bleeding according to the police officer’s description. She had an infant in her hands and with the nature of the situation plus the initial occurrences; the officers asked her if they could conduct a safety search(Russell 1). However, Fernandez was quick to object claiming that he knew his rights. The officers brought Fernandez into custody under the suspicion he was behind Roxanne’s assault. After identification as one of the perpetrators from the gang robbery, the police accompanied him to the police station. Later on, one of the officers returned to the premises and obtained Roxanne’s consent to search the apartment(Russell 1). The search brought out new evidence that linked Fernandez to the violent robbery.
In court, Fernandez’s motion to subdue the proof from the second search did not influence his case. The Georgia v. Randolph case chiefly influenced Fernandez’s motion since the summary judgment held that where there is physical presence of co-tenants and one objects the police’s consent while the other agrees; the police have no option but to respect the objection. Justices Alito, Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayors and the Chief Justice were against were against any motions filed with Randolph case as the basis hence agreed with the final decision(Russell 1). However, Fernandez has four votes from Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Scalia and Karlin who supported the Randolph summary judgment with the argument that the police officers went against the law by first taking into custody the objecting party and coming back to obtain consent of other co-tenant. Nonetheless, the California Court of Appeal’s affirmations held that Fernandez was not physically present when Roxanne gave consent of the search. Typically, the application of Georgia v. Randolph as advocated for by Jeffrey Fisher (Fernandez’s lawyer) was not rational enough to make any exceptions particularly because one of the opposing justices invoked that his expression only depicted insightful disrespect towards Roxanne who wanted the police officers to conduct the search in both situations(Russell 1).
Thoughtful Questions
Essentially, the Randolph and Fernandez cases have similar interpretations but different summary judgments. Moreover, after Fernandez v. California, it appears less complex for police officers to evade the Georgia v. Randolph, especially since the lack of the target’s physical presence acts a gate pass for them to ask for the other tenants consent. However, since most of the opinions in this particular reaffirm the contracted clarification of Randolph prior to Fernandez’s conviction, can police officers really get around it?
On the other hand, most of Fernandez’s motion mainly focused on the statement of ‘physical presence’. However, both Fernandez and Randolph cases lack clarity on the definition of presence. Is it inside, nearby, outside or on the premises?
Works Cited
Russell, Kevin. Fernandez v California: Supreme Court of the United States Blog (SCOTUS-blog) 2015, Web, 25 Jun. 15 Read More
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