Wolf v. Colorado

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Wolf v. Colorado
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Citation
Date decided June 26, 1949
Related Mapp v. Ohio
Weeks v. United States
Overturned by
Mapp v. Ohio

Facts

Prior to 1949, the 4th Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches & seizures only applied to federal procedures.

Without a search warrant, state investigators entered the medical office of Dr. Wolf & seized the names of female patients seen in Denver, Colorado.

After interviewing the patients, the district attorney charged Dr. Wolf with 2 counts of conspiracy to perform abortions. (In the 1940s, abortions were illegal in Colorado.)

Procedural History

Dr. Wolf was convicted after 2 jury trials that had resulting from the patients' incriminating testimony.

Dr. Wolf is sentenced to state prison.

Issues

Is the 4th Amendment's exclusionary rule required in state criminal cases?

Holding

The 4th Amendment does apply to the states. However, the exclusionary rule isn't required to be applied in state criminal cases.

Reasons

Excluding evidence in state criminal cases isn't necessary to give effect to the 4th Amendment.

Resources