WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Police smelling marijuana coming from behind an apartment door can enter the home without a warrant in some instances, some U.S. Supreme Court Justices said.
The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday heard arguments that could have Fourth Amendment implications, The Washington Post reported.
The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Hollis King, saying police didn't have the right to kick his door down after smelling marijuana coming from the apartment.
Police had announced their presence, and when they heard flushing sounds decided evidence was being destroyed and entered the apartment.
The case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. Justice Elena Kagan found some problems with the King case.
"One of the points of the Fourth Amendment is to ensure that when people search your home, they have a warrant, and of course there are exceptions to that," Kagan said.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also found problems with the Kentucky search.
"They (could) go to the apartment building and ... sniff at every door," Ginsburg proposed, to find cause to search.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor also had issues with the case. She said in many instances police could enter without a warrant if they thought drugs were being used on the other side because police could always say they feared the evidence would be destroyed.
Justice Antonin Scalia said police did nothing wrong in the Kentucky case.
"Everything done was perfectly lawful," Scalia said. "It's unfair to the criminal? Is that the problem? I really don't understand the problem."
Scalia said law enforcement has many constraints "and the one thing that it has going for it is that criminals are stupid."