Supreme Court Goes to the Dogs

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Yesterday’s arguments in two cases from Florida were devoted to man’s best friend, or more specifically his nose. At issue, does the use of drug-sniffing dogs sometimes violate the fourth Amendment’s right “against unreasonable searches and seizures”, or, as the State of Florida argues, are dogs 1. never intrusive, and 2. always reliable?

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In the first case, Franky, a chocolate Labrador, was brought without a warrant to the porch of Joelis Jardines where he sniffed marijuana by the front door.

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In the second case a German Shepherd named Aldo smelled methamphetamine on a truck driven by Clayton Harris. No privacy issue here, but Aldo’s certification had expired.

Jesse Holland has the story here.

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Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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