United States v. Rabinowitz

United States v. Rabinowitz
Argued Argued January 11, 1950
Decided February 20, 1950
Full case name United States v. Rabinowitz
Citations 339 U.S. 56 (more)
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Minton, joined by Vinson, Reed, Burton, Clark
Dissent Frankfurter, joined by Jackson
Dissent Black

United States v. Rabinowitz 339 U.S. 56 (1950) was a US Supreme Court decision that held warrantless searches immediately following an arrest to be constitutional. The decision overturned Trupiano v. United States (1948), which had banned such searches.

Albert J. Rabinowitz was arrested in his office on February 16, 1943, for selling forged US postage stamps to an undercover federal officer. Federal agents then conducted a warrantless, ninety-minute search of the office, finding an additional 573 forged stamps. Rabinowitz unsuccessfully moved to exclude this evidence from his subsequent trial, but the motion was denied. He was convicted, but a US Court of Appeals later reversed the verdict, ruling that his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution had been violated.[1]

The US Supreme Court reversed the Appeals Court ruling in a 5-3 decision. Writing for the majority, Justice Sherman Minton wrote that only "unreasonable" searches were banned under the Fourth Amendment; searching the office of a suspected forger at the site of his lawful arrest was held to be reasonable.[1]


  1. ^ a b Richard J., Hardy (2012). "United States v. Rabinowitz". In Vile, Hudson. Encyclopedia of the Fourth Amendment. CQ Press. 

External links

  • Text of Trupiano v. United States, 339 US 56 (1950) is available from:  Findlaw  Justia 
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