United States v. Johnson

Opa-Locka, Fla. 911 caller reports man trying to get through window of a neighbor’s house. Officers respond, see man matching the caller’s description, point guns at him, handcuff him, pat him down, reach into his pocket, and find a single bullet. Eleventh Circuit (2018): The police were allowed to pat the man down to find a weapon, but they crossed the constitutional line when they reached into his pocket to get the bullet. Eleventh Circuit (en banc, by a 7–5 vote): No, no. His conviction for being a felon in possession of ammunition (and pistols discovered nearby) is affirmed. Judge Jordan, dissenting: The majority fails to adequately grapple with the man’s originalist arguments. (More on that from Josh Blackman.)

Tags: 2019, Eleventh Circuit, Judge Jordan, Police, Searches and Seizures

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