Brief Fact Summary. The petitioner, Julius Wolf (the “petitioner”) was convicted by a State court of conspiring to commit abortions based upon evidence allegedly obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure clause.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause does not prohibit the admission of evidence obtained during an apparently illegal search and seizure in State courts.
Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.View Full Point of Law
Justice Wiley Rutledge (“J. Rutledge”) filed a dissenting opinion. He rejected the Supreme Court’s conclusion that the mandate embodied in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, although binding on the States, does not carry with it the one sanction, exclusion of evidence. Failure to observe this means that the protection of the Fourth Amendment might as well be stricken from the Constitution. The Amendment without the sanction is a dead letter.
Justice Frank Murphy (“J. Murphy”) also filed a dissenting opinion. He observed, we are limited to three devices for the enforcement of the Fourth Amendment