LOCATION: Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
DOCKET NO.: 73-2050
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
CITATION: 422 US 891 (1975)
ARGUED: Feb 18, 1975
DECIDED: Jun 30, 1975
Charles M. Sevilla - for Luis Antonio Ortiz
Mark L. Evans - for the United States
Michael D. Nasatir -
Facts of the case
Media for United States v. OrtizAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 18, 1975 in United States v. Ortiz
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 30, 1975 in United States v. Ortiz
Warren E. Burger:
Three opinions to be announced by Mr. Justice Powell are 73-6848, Bowen against the United States, 74-114, United States against Brignoni-Ponce, and 73-2050, United States against Ortiz.
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:
These three cases come to us on certiorari from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Each presents a different issue concerning the United States Border Patrol's operations for apprehending aliens to enter the country illegally.
In 1973, we held in Almeida-Sanchez versus the United States, that Border Patrol officers on roving patrol may not search private vehicles without probable cause to believe that they contain aliens who are illegally in the country.
We did not decide in that case whether probable cause would be required for similar searches at established traffic checkpoints.
In United States against Ortiz, No. 73-2050, respondent's car was searched without probable cause at a Border Patrol checkpoint near San Clemente, California and three aliens were found in his trunk.
The Court of Appeals held this search illegal under the principles of Almeida-Sanchez.
We agree that the ruling of that case cover searches of private vehicles at traffic checkpoints.
Accordingly, we affirm the Court of Appeals.
Mr. Justice Rehnquist filed a concurring opinion.
The Chief Justice joined by Mr. Justice Blackmun filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.
Mr. Justice White joined by Mr. Justice Blackmun also filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.