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Please explain which elements of the Wilson v. Layne, Deputy United States Marshal (1999) fall under judicial?

Please explain which elements of the Wilson v. Layne, Deputy United States Marshal (1999) case fall under judicial review and judicial precedent.

I have been reading and reading, however, I am still confused by it.


3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Charles Wilson woke up at 6:45 a.m. on April 14, 1998, to find plainclothes police officers and reporters from the Washington Post in his living room. Mr. Wilson was photographed pinned on a floor with a gun to his head, dressed only in his boxer shorts. His wife, Geraldine Wilson, was photographed wearing only a sheer nightgown. Their 27-year-old son, Dominic Jerome Wilson, who allegedly had violated probation, was not home.

    The raid on the Wilson home was part of a joint effort between the U.S. Marshal Service and local police. Called ""Operation Gunsmoke,"" the effort was designed to round up prison escapees, bail jumpers and parole violators considered armed and dangerous.

    The photos were never published. Charles Wilson later contacted his son and persuaded him to turn himself in. The Wilsons sued the sheriff's deputies and a U.S. marshal in U.S. District Court. The court found that their rights were clearly violated.

    A divided 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the officers should be granted ""qualified immunity"" because they were carrying out their agencies' orders and would not be expected to recognize their actions as a violation of the Wilsons' rights. The appeals court granted review en banc. The 11 judges affirmed the prior split decision by a 6-5 vote.

    The majority opinion held that government officials are entitled to qualified immunity to the extent that ""their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known."" It protects law enforcement officers from ""bad guesses in gray areas"" and ensures that they are liable only for ""transgressing bright lines,"" the majority said.

    The dissent traced the development of 4th Amendment law posing the following issues:

    ""The majority goes much too far when it sanctions unconsented-to public tours of private homes, with photography allowed, under the guise of an arrest warrant...From now on in the Fourth Circuit, unlike the Second or Ninth, if ever the government need enter a private home, the home - and its occupants - can be laid bare for all the world to see...The 4th Amendment guarantees that the sanctity of the home, one's castle, will not be disturbed unless by warrant or pursuant to a specific warrant exception.""

    In an unrelated case, consolidated in the U.S. Supreme Court, a Montana rancher argued that federal agents violated his constitutional rights by bringing a CNN team onto his sheep ranch to document the killing of eagles.

    Paul Berger had no criminal record or history of violence. He was 72 years old and sick with debilitating emphysema. He and his wife, Erma, owned a 75,000-acre sheep ranch in Montana.

    The Fish and Wildlife Service suspected, though, through tips from three former employees, that Berger had poisoned eagles that had been preying on his sheep.

    When federal agents obtained a warrant to search his ranch for dead eagles in March 1993, they assembled a force of 21 men with a stockpile of weapons, a caravan of trucks and an airplane.

    Why did they make such a grand entrance? Because, the Bergers believe, it made for good TV.

    CNN wanted footage of the discovery of evidence for its ""Earth Matters"" show. Before the search, the federal prosecutor in charge of the investigation and CNN producer Jack Hamann signed an agreement that gave CNN permission to be there.

    Unbeknownst to the Bergers, the agents who served the warrant were wearing wires. Three of the men searching the land were CNN reporters. Two thorough searches of the 75,000 acre ranch turned up no dead eagles. Berger was found guilty of lacing two sheep carcasses with poison, a misdemeanor for which he was fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.

    The ""Ring of Death"" program portrayed the raid as a success and never mentioned that the investigators failed to find any poisoned eagles on the ranch. The 12-minute program ran in October 1993.

    The Bergers filed suit charging that the federal government and CNN violated the couple's 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. The suit noted that the warrant didn't even mention CNN or sanction its presence at the search.

    The complaints, which proceeded on identical courses, sought civil damages for violations of the 4th Amendment right to privacy, violations of the Federal wiretapping statute, and related common law torts including trespass, infliction of emotional distress and conversion. The Bergers also sought an injunction against the media's further broadcast of the illegally obtained video footage and audio recordings.

    CNN argued in its own case that investigative journalism is an important part of today's television market and entitled to all the safeguards of the 1st Amendment.

    ""Law enforcement trades its public for good press coverage,"" said Henry Rossbacher, an attorney for the Bergers. ""It's an intoxicating witch's brew of violations of people's rights for money for self-interest.""

    The U.S. District Court in Billings dismissed the complaints on the grounds that the warrant gave agents the authority to invite CNN along. The Bergers appealed. A unanimous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed on all but the wiretapping, conversion and injunction claims.

    The appeals court reversed, focusing on the purpose of recording the search, and found the publicity aspect of the media presence in direct conflict with protection of privacy under the 4th Amendment.

    The Supreme Court denied certiorari on the media liability issue, but on Nov. 9, 1998, the Court consolidated the law enforcement liability cases, granted certiorari and limited review to the two questions noted above. The docket number of the Berger case is 97-1927.

    As amici, 24 news organizations sided with law enforcement officers in both cases to defend the media's watchdog role.

    In oral arguments on March 24, 1999, the collaboration between law enforcement and media was put on the spot. In an animated session that ran over the traditional one hour, Justice David Souter asked if the ride-alongs are not merely for entertainment or fluff. ""What's the help (to law enforcement) provided here?""

    Justice Antonin Scalia asked if a police officer with a court warrant could just as easily take along his sister-in-law when entering someone's home. ""Personally, I'd rather have your sister-in-law come along,"" he said.

    When the lawyer representing federal agents contended that media ride-alongs have long been commonplace, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retorted,

    ""Ride right into the house?""

    On May 24, 1999, the Court unanimously held that police can be sued for letting reporters and photographers accompany them on raids of private homes, but also held 8-1 for the two law enforcement agencies in the companion cases before the Court.

    The justices said that law enforcement violates the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures when they allow reporters and camera crews on ""media ride-alongs"" to enter homes to observe law enforcement first-hand and, in some cases, film or photograph the goings on.

    ""[I]t is a violation of the 4th Amendment for police to bring members of the media or other third parties into a home during the execution of a warrant when [their] presence...was not in aid of the execution of the warrant,"" Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote for the Court.

    Though the Court held that police could be forced to pay damages, it held that law enforcement in the two cases were protected from liability under qualified immunity because the law was not yet clear when the incidents took place. Justice John Paul Stevens dissented from this part of the ruling.

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  • Erika
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Wilson V Layne

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  • 1 decade ago

    Let me guess Axia right? me too. This case study is crawling with precedent as seen in the writen opinions of the justices however I am lost as to where the the judcial review comes into play. Unless that is where they deemed that the law officers were not responsible for monetary damages due to the violation of the fourth ammendment right. Give me a shout out , maybe we can mull it over together.


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