New opinion — Government 4th Amendment win

By my count, CA3 has reversed 13 times this year in published criminal appeals. (My compilation of 2014 reversals is here.) Four of those 13 reversals have been government wins. That’s pretty extraordinary, given that the overwhelming majority of criminal appeals are by defendants. Today, another government win.

The opinion begins:

In light of the “automobile exception” to the usual search warrant requirement, it is difficult to pick a worse place to conceal evidence of a crime than an automobile. The Supreme Court has interpreted—and reinterpreted—the automobile exception so expansively that the Court essentially has obviated the requirement that the government obtain a warrant to search a vehicle provided it has probable cause to  believe that the vehicle contains evidence of a crime.

The case is US v. Donahue. Opinion by Greenberg, joined by Ambro and Barry. Arguing counsel were Gino Bartolai Jr. for the defendant and Todd Hinkley for the government.

Incidentally, it’s been a bad week for MDPA Judge Caputo. Today’s reversal was his case below, as was a reversal earlier this week in which CA3 was reversing the case for the third time.