Last modified on 4 May 2008, at 16:44

Samson v. California

In Samson v. California, 126 S. Ct. 2193 (2006), a 6-3 United States Supreme Court held that this California law is constitutional:

Every prisoner eligible for release on state parole "shall agree in writing to be subject to search or seizure by a parole officer or other peace officer at any time of the day or night, with or without a search warrant and with or without cause." Cal. Penal Code Ann. ยง 3067(a) (West 2000).

The Court held that a suspicionless search, conducted under the authority of this statute, does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for the Court, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Justice Sam Alito and, surprisingly, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice John Paul Stevens, Justice David Souter and Justice Stephen Breyer dissented.