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Arkansas v. Sanders - Significance, Impact

court fourth respondent search


State of Arkansas


Lonnie James Sanders

Petitioner's Claim

That a warrantless search of the respondent's private luggage did not constitute unreasonable search under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Joseph H. Purvis

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Jack T. Lassiter

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (writing for the Court), John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William H. Rehnquist


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

20 June 1979


Absent of urgent or critical circumstances, a police search of personal luggage requires a warrant under the provisions of the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Related Cases

  • Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132 (1925).
  • Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752 (1969).
  • Chambers v. Maroney, 399 U.S. 42 (1970).
  • United States v. Chadwick, 433 U.S. 1 (1977).

Further Readings

  • Bradley, Craig M. "The Court's `Two Model' Approach to the Fourth Amendment: Carpe Diem." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, fall 1993, p. 429.
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