Thursday, 16 October 2003

Agent, meet principal

Glenn Reynolds points to this absolutely hysterical piece by Dahlia Lithwick that recounts one poor respondent’s efforts to alternately defend and avoid the reasoning of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in finding in his favor in a case where the respondent failed to come to the door when police knocked and announced themselves; the respondent wants to suppress the evidence from the search (under that pesky 4th Amendment).

The respondent’s lawyer didn’t exactly get off on a good foot here:

Randall J. Roske represents [Lashawn] Banks. He starts by warning the justices that this case is about whether their doors are sacred. This “next-time-it-could-be-you” tactic never works with the justices since they so rarely deal crack from their homes.

I think this exchange basically sums up how the respondent’s day went (after a long discussion of the fact that Banks was in the shower, and therefore didn’t hear the “knock and announce” by police):

Scalia has had it with the showers. “What does the shower have to do with it? Your constitutional reasonableness is the time it takes someone to complete a shower, dry himself, and grab a towel? Why is the shower relevant?” Roske replies that we have no idea how long Mr. Banks would have continued his shower.

“We don’t know and we don’t care,” retorts Scalia.

Needless to say, I’m not chalking up a win here for Mr. Banks.